To move about the world this way; as if I am an egg. On Monday evening walking down Second Avenue the bustle which is usually a comfort was too loud, too close, too hectic. And when the F train pulled in packed, a nervous tremor of how to get myself onto it and home.
Combinations of feeling invisible and hyper-visible.
On that same F train, heads buried in kindles and phones, one man staring blankly, no one offering me a seat. But there are other ways of not being seen too; in casual encounters, in the give and take of a day, those who see the belly and back away–frightened almost, confused. Some pretend it doesn’t exist. Some ask me about it and then have no other sentences to offer. God forbid a pregnant lady might chit chat. It reminds of my wedding; how everyone stood a few feet back just staring at me and grinning and not talking. That day one friend said to me, and it was magnificent honesty, “I don’t know how to talk to brides.”
My sense of my body in public spaces is forever changed. At least, I hope it’s forever changed. I see now how the world doesn’t have time for us; those of us who need help, who move slow, who are delicate, in pain sometimes, uncomfortable. The world, or this city at least, doesn’t want to be bothered, often doesn’t know how to look us in the eye. I hope I remember when I am no longer this egg being. And I hope I never, ever sound like the woman in the gym locker room who said to me in the voice with which one talks to a puppy, “It’s sooo great that you’re getting yourself here.”
Honestly, fuck you lady.
Not Americans are far better at it. At Punjabi’s the other week, the man behind the register, grinning, and at ease, and so kind.
How many months? Is it your first? I have two daughters. Are you eating healthy? Lots of water and vegetables.
I want to go back and visit just to have the pleasure of being spoken to like a normal human being by a stranger.
My godmother says that when it’s time the best advice she can give me is to pass right through the center of that ring of fire; don’t try to skirt it. Last night on the couch, my hand on my belly, and the kick delivered a little foot into my hand. This person is fully formed and simply gaining weight now. In a sense, we’ve already accomplished it, this babe and I. We began this project in August and here we are; waiting. Everyone says it’s soon when I tell them it could be five weeks, could be seven. But if I was going away for five to seven weeks, if I was flying to Peru and not returning until early May, that would be a long time, wouldn’t it?
Last night B. was wondering about hair and eye and skin color. I’m doing that less these days. I feel less intertwined with the babe and more like we are two beings sharing one space. It’s funny, right now the babe imbues my body with something special–sets me apart; highlights me and gives me shine. When the babe exists outside of me, it will take that dazzle with it. The babe will draw the admiration and I will be (only) the mother caring for it. The celebrated body will become the emptied body.
I think it will be more of a blow to my ego than I like to admit.
My consolation though, is that I am very much ready to not be this vulnerable. I’m not fantasizing about alcohol and sushi–although, I am kind of dreaming of a tuna sandwich. Instead I’m craving extreme sports. (Well, kind of extreme. Extreme for me.) I want to surf (I really want to surf); I want to ski; sled; roll down a hill; ride a skateboard; jump off a bridge into water; go on a rope swing; walk on a tightrope; go to trapeze school.
Also, it will be really nice to walk fast.