It all started with an Instagram post. On February 4, 2018, Kylie Jenner announced the birth of her daughter, Stormi Webster. I was working on a group project when I saw the post, and I excused myself to watch the 12-minute YouTube video she shared to document her pregnancy. As soft piano chords underlied intimate sonogram footage, I cried to myself in the Trinity Cafe bathroom at the beauty of motherhood. Little did I know then that my life would never be the same.

I had never given much thought to the idea of being a dad. Of course, in accordance with societal norms, one day down the long road of my own ontogeny, I would settle down and raise a statistically average 2.3 children. I never considered that I’m actually at the age where my peers—including Kylie Jenner, who is only two years older than I am—are giving birth. The realization that parenthood is, on some level, attainable to me now, was a dangerous one.

Suddenly, walks through the Duke Gardens were not spent admiring the new bamboo sprouts in the Asiatic Garden, or the koi fish meandering through the simple pleasures of aquatic life. Instead, I mused about grabbing one of the wide-eyed infants, securely wrapped in his periwinkle blanket. I’d distract his mom by asking her for directions. Then, scooping up the baby in one quick motion, I would run past the flowered terrain, hop on the bus as the doors close and ride the C1 into the sunlight. With my little bundle of joy held tight against my chest, we would leave North Carolina, and I would forget about my short stint at Duke University. Finally, I would be a father. If that plan didn’t work, I would even settle for one of the toddlers rolling down the hill, carefree, where that weird wood sculpture used to stand.

Baby fever consumes me. And no Durham summer can compare to the temperature on the metaphorical thermometer quantifying my infection. Everyday, I am haunted by a simple question: if Kylie can do it, why can’t I? Objectively, that question isn’t founded on great logic. Kylie Jenner can do a lot that I can’t do, like get 13 million likes on her Instagram posts, launch a successful line of lip kits, and, of course, give birth. I recognize that I probably shouldn’t aspire to Kylie Jenner, either. Though a successful entrepreneur, Kylie is constantly called out for her exploitation of black women’s hair, fashion and aesthetic styles. And yet, beyond her wealth, fame and controversy, Kylie has everything I want: a child.

The developmental psychology class I took last semester didn’t help my condition. When my professor said he wouldn’t take attendance, I scheduled a nap from 1:25 to 2:40 PM every Monday and Wednesday into my schedule. But to my surprise, every class I was bombarded with videos of experiments in which children help researchers find missing objects, play with puppets and learn to count. I oohed and ahhed as I watched a three-year-old enforce her researcher’s conventional norms on a stuffed animal, and I felt proud of the four-year-old who passed the false belief task for the first time, as if I had personally succeeded as a parent. My tiny Grinch heart grew three times in size with each lecture. Subconsciously, I started naming the subjects. My notebook, which should have been filled with details from the slides, became the manuscript for an unpublished book of baby names. Charlotte Diamond has a nice ring to it, doesn’t it? Though I realized I have no interest in psychology, that class confirmed my love of children and my knack for thinking of a good baby name. Unfortunately, Duke has no major in parenting. Yet.

Maybe the fact that, as a gay man, parenting feels like a distant dream rather than a tangible possibility makes me want it all that much more. My complicated path to fatherhood is always in the back of my mind. Will I adopt? Will my partner and I hire a surrogate? Whose sperm will we use? I lack the heterosexual privilege of having one night stands that unexpectedly lead to queasiness, vomiting and squatting over a pregnancy test. And what a blessing those two lines would be!

Am I ready to father a child? Probably not. My dorm hasn’t been baby-proofed, and I sometimes go days forgetting to change my own underwear, which is a much lesser responsibility than changing another human’s diapers. I definitely don’t know how to feed a baby, when most of my own meals are microwaved mac and cheese containers or a side of tater tots from Pitchforks. My parents certainly have no intention of coming to Durham and help me raise a baby. But all of these signs can’t stop me from picturing little Charlotte smiling back at me as I peer into her crib, where my bookshelf used to be.

I guess I’m writing this column because my Craigslist ad was taken down. Anyone want to carry my child?