You feel like words don’t reach the dark, strange, heat drenched places your mind goes. If hormones were tangible, you’d be drenched in waves, and when you dream, it is of high school, of people you’ve long forgotten, and the place where you grew up. You watch the waves break below you, standing at a seawall, the foam churning. When you wake up, you lie stunned, rain pelting the glass, sleep almost a figment.
Your hands shake, your back hurts. There’s silence all around … typical
When you lie on your back and fall into sleep you feel this way: like you are passing out, like you are falling, being pulled under. You startle awake, roll to your side.
Today you try to take a nap and you listen to the wind hug the house in some sort of wild embrace. Rain spatters the glass. Birds tilt in the sky. The snow is melting. The thermometer reads fifty.
You lie on clean sheets, your body engulfed in tiredness. You cannot sleep. You sit and face the wall. You stare at it until the color blue glows orange behind your closed eyelids. Desperation is this color. Pastel and weak, but still the color of fire. You begin to sob. You pull a fleece over your tank top, suddenly cold. You walk out of the room, down the hall, down the stairs.
The lamp on the dresser is still on. The green lampshade, illuminated this way in daylight, is the color of new leaves. You suddenly feel yourself begging silently for spring. For days where when the crying and the tiredness make you rock like this, you can go outdoors and suck in sweet air and sit on a grassy hill and feel gravity holding you.
You will pull the pillows up over your head. You will bury yourself from sound. You will let yourself cry until you feel your cheeks are wet and tear slicked. Then you will wait for sleep.
You feel it coming like creature, its long shadow snaking out ahead of it, reaching you first. Your mind bifurcates, fractures. You begin to see a slideshow of random images, not just from your day, but from your life.
You are four, twirling among cornstalks higher than your head. You are clutching a brown velvet covered horse. It flies from your hand, lands out of sight. You cannot find it.
You are looking at a colander. The holes are punched in star patterns. Light shines through. It reminds you of your mother rinsing lettuce, and then spinning it in a plastic bag, the centrifugal force collecting the water at the bottom of the bag.
You are asleep, and then awake again. An hour and a half has passed. The ocean is fresh in your memory. You can taste the salt air. You long for sand. For the sound of the waves.
You want to be patient. You want to be present and calm. You want to be able to remember these fierce moments. Yet tiredness is eating away at you like hungry moths, until you are nothing but a fragile filigree, an outline of your former self.
You will clean relentlessly. It is the only thing you can do that makes you feel sane. Forks here. Knives there. You will wipe the counters, unload laundry, start a fire in the wood stove.
You kneel to coax the fire into flame and you watch the flames lick at the glass, the door slightly ajar, the air from the room being sucked in by the heat, and swallowed by the chimney. Your throat aches. Your shoulders slouch. You crouch in front of the fire, words no longer rising in you head. Instead you are filled with the sound of images and premonitions. The sound blots out everything else, and yet you are above it, beyond it, as though you are dreaming about waking up, but cannot wake up because you are not actually awake.
It is irrational the way your mind circles and you know this. In your head you are preparing to stand, to turn, to get to the bathroom or the kitchen, but you don’t. You just sit there, waiting, thinking … million thoughts. And, then it makes a picture perfect image… bouncing bundle of joy.
You can feel your heart thudding in wonder. Wonder that is breathless and grateful. It brings you to the cusp of tears, but the tears are sweet. You take a breath.
This is the end of the eighth week with your yet to be born child. And it is the beginning, the remarkably small miraculous beginning of a new life!