I’m tired and feel separated from B. by how differently we experienced the last 24 hours; as if my physical rootedness in this creates a barrier between us. I am only pregnant. That is all I am right now. No thought, or sensation, or breath happened today that was not filtered through pregnancy. I am transformed; it is dizzying. I had no idea how complete and immediate this would be. When I anticipated a first trimester, I just imagined being me with the added excitement of containing this new thing, this new being, and spark of cells. I had no idea what this would really be. Now I understand that tone of mothers, of parents, that look in their eyes, speaking from the bottom of the cliff while I was still standing there peering over the edge, hypothesizing what that leap would look and feel like. They must have senses my secret smugness as they recounted how crazy pregnancy, parenting, is; Well, maybe that’s how it was for you, but for me, I’m going to do it much differently. Yeah. Turns out I am not doing shit. I am being done.
I went for kind of a run today. Intervals of running and walking and it’s funny, definitely have been exhausted by running for a few weeks now. I’ve been pregnant this whole time and just didn’t know. Before pregnancy tests it must have been quite a thing; the symptoms accumulating, and there are those women who don’t feel all these other things, the so-tender boobs, the cramping, and then suddenly there is the bulge and the flutter. But actually I can’t imagine the not-knowing. I am consumed by new sensation. So I ran. And actually it was a relief; it made me feel powerful, like I wasn’t so foreign to myself that I couldn’t still move my body in a familiar way.
I spent the rest of the day by myself. Didn’t tell anyone the news. Late afternoon, I put on a snazzy outfit, high waisted, flowing, patterned ’70’s pants and a tight shirt that I knotted to show off the way my belly always does that little curve. No hesitancy this time since this is probably the flattest my belly is ever going to be again. I’m ready to abandon all hopes of having a flat belly. I’ve been chasing that damn dream since I was 16 and tore the page on sit ups out of YM magazine. And I wore heels and went into the city early and took one of my favorite walks from Canal, north through Soho, and then bearing west and up into NYU territory to meet my fam at the Comedy Cellar. I slipped into my favorite dream walking state; noticing the buildings beneath the store signs, watching for the bones of the city that don’t change with time, the structures themselves. The light began to do that Edward Hopper thing; the setting sun catching the roof edges, New York as it wants to see itself, as I love to see it. On West Broadway, I spied the Picasso sculpture. My mother and I used to sit beneath it and eat salad bar sometimes. I used to love salad bar. A flower garden, and the scent of the plants was dazzling. I laughed my ass off at the comedy show, and still did not tell them, my mother or step-father or cousin. It is still my secret knowledge of myself.
I am a pine cone. I am a pristine, sealed envelope.
B. and I reunited on the couch after, and I asked him, “How was your day?”
And then he started to tell me all these things he did and thought and none of them related to my being pregnant.
“But how are you with this?”
“You mean you being pregnant?”
“Um, yeah.” What else is there?
“I guess it just wasn’t in the front of my mind today.”
And that’s when the gulf opened. My dream mood, harmony with the city and the light, my sexy snazzy flowing pants, the flowers, the buds, just fell away and suddenly I was all alone.