Week 32

From this Friday past:

The body and its needs. You can’t tell because I’m going to use the nifty scheduled publish thing to publish this later, but it’s the middle of the night. Or the very beginning of morning; 4:45. With daylight savings it feels like the middle of night, or maybe not—maybe more like my favorite word in Spanish; la madrugada, the hours right before sunrise, the ones I always wanted to be out in during high school when my mother, frustrated by the absence of curfew of my wealthy, private school friends, would tell me, “You have it easy; do you know how strict I could  be?”. A sentence that made no sense to me. She felt impossibly strict as it was. In those years, I wanted to be out and wandering the city and the want felt like a dire physical craving, as potent as the nic fits of spending a Sunday at the museum with my mother and grandmother; eight-ten-twelve hours with no feasible story to concoct that would allow me to sneak off and have a cigarette. First drag at thirteen and by fourteen buying packs and not long after every free moment punctuated by those inhales and exhales. I always think that I miss smoking, but B. and I smoked for three weeks in Turkey this last summer (my mother says we only travel so we can smoke), sharing a whopping 2-3 cigarettes a day, and my body hated it. Also, I couldn’t ignore it; every time I smoked a cigarette the last days of the trip I felt a tension, a priming for panic. Like being mildly stung by a jellyfish; the way when you leave the ocean you run your hand over your skin, confused by its rawness, as if you’ve been scraped. The cigarettes were doing that. I had a full fledged panic attack in the winding streets between the Spice Market and the Grand Bazaar; my first in a decade. And in Paris too, on the long lay over, the coffee and the cigarette and then we’re walking and I’m breathing through it, my heart beating faster, not wanting to mention it to B. because already I’m planning my next cigarette of the day, my last of the trip, and I don’t want to say out loud how badly the smoke has begun affecting me.

I don’t miss being a smoker. I miss the purity of not thinking things through. Of giving myself over to every single sensation; drunk, sad, horny, angry, happy. Each was the thing that I was. I was really into life-changing revelations. A new realization that I would pour out to my friends, sure I was forever altered.

Just a little while ago my body woke me up to start crying. Sometimes my dreams are anxious and insistent in order to get me up and peeing. Tonight, I was having a sad dream that I forgot immediately except to know that it was there, like walking into a room where someone just lit a match, and as soon as I was awake, my crying began. Hard crying, not sobbing, but painful and sharp. Today was my last day at school. I’m beginning my maternity leave now. I knew I loved the kids, but this tonight is sharper than I knew it would be.

It’s pouring rain. The rain is drumming on the skylight. Our scratched and rusted bathtub was re-enameled today. The bathroom is full of fumes and I can’t go in there, so tonight I’m peeing into a large lavender bucket. When I squat over it, my pee sounds thunderous in the empty room next to our bedroom. I am sure that B. can hear it.

Physically, I’m a bit of a hot mess. My cold has latched in and I’m coughing up flem all day and night. My hips are throbbing and the muscle in my left butt cheek has knotted up and won’t take my whole weight when I step so I’m cringing and wobbling and waddling down the street. Also just now my lower back tightened up, a wave, one of those practice contractions people tell me about? I’m certainly not sleeping through any night. The babe is doing well though; stretching mostly, and sometimes shuddering quickly as if startled. The other night it had hiccups; a steady drumming low under the bottom ridge where my globular belly reconnects to my pelvis. Pubis.

I can’t really understand the plain of time that has just opened up to me. No fence posts or landmarks on my future months; rarely have I ever been this unplanned and wide open. In this instant, I’m thinking rest. Swimming. Yoga. Writing. Rest. Buying a body pillow. Going back to bed. Trying not to plan it. Surrendering? I think I want the babe to take it’s time cause I always want more time, but I don’t know. As my friend reminds me, eight weeks is a long expanse. Is a whole summer. I’m exhausted. Sun coming up soon?

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