I’ve been meaning to tell this anecdote since about 30 weeks. I was at a bar doing a reading, and beaten down by months of snow boots, I brought pink high heels to change into and I was wearing those. I’m sure it was the heels that began it. Amazing what an arched foot and a flash of color will bring on.
Walking back from the bathroom, I passed two men. One turned to the other and spoke in that voice that’s presented as a private voice, but is designed to be heard by the woman being talked about.
He says, “She’s sexy.”
His friend, “She’s pregnant.”
Then they both paused to appraise. I hadn’t felt that glance for months. I forgot how visceral it is; how I can literally feel their eyes measure me from head to toe.
And then the first man goes, the words deliberate as his gaze, “Happy Mother’s Day.”
Happy Mother’s Day! That was his line. I couldn’t believe it. When I got a few cat calls earlier on, my second trimester hidden in my winter coat, it gave me secret satisfaction, If only they knew. Thinking they’d be embarrassed. Thinking I was tricking them.
When my mother was at eight months she rode a Greyhound down to Tennessee, to maker her way to the commune where she was going to deliver. The commune couldn’t pick her up that night, and they sent her to a church mission in Nashville where she’d be able to spend the night. As she was walking–and she would have been statuesque; sweating, tall and blonde in the June heat–a car slowed beside her. The driver rolled down his window and leaned across the empty passenger heat. She watched, curious, until he smiled and beckoned to her, his fingers cupping and calling. Shocked, all she could do was point to her globe of a belly, and shake her head no.
It’s not that we’re not sexy. Because we are. The embodiment of sex in fact; a walking, rounded, display of what fertility is. But for me, I am sexy for one person only. I have never felt so strongly to be B.’s, and for once in my life it doesn’t chafe. There is a biology at work…we are oriented towards each other. Especially since the third trimester began, I don’t like being far away from him for too many consecutive hours. And he knows my body more than he ever has…I can’t hide from him the small embarrassments. The week that was seven days of constipation, I finally said to him, “I’m never going to talk to you about this when I’m not pregnant, but pretty much my reality right now is that I’m constipated.” He presses on my lower back with his knuckles; he smooths the kinks out of my legs; he watches me wince when I walk; he presses on the babe’s back through the wall of my skin and muscle.We’re both attuned to this body right now; it is one of the mediums through we’re communicating.
But wait, one thing is not fully true. I am not only sexy for him. It is for me too. Few days go by without orgasms. I am all the way my body; my skin; my aching back; my limping walk; my cheeks flushing; my belly stretching and moving; the babe stretching and shifting; every moment is a sensation.
I’ve gotten caught up in this way of thinking; that to preserve my sexiness with B. I would need to hide certain parts of my physical self. Keep me mysterious and unknown, hard to get. But that doesn’t seem to be the arc of it…These days my body is a thing in which we are both intimately involved. Turns out that’s super sexy.