In the pale crook of a birch a robin threading its song through the fluttering green of newly furled leaves makes my heart tremble. Things are up in the air, and I’m holding my breath waiting for unrecognized brilliance. It’s like I’m occupying the thin space between air and water in a drinking glass, where the whole world is reflected in a line.
I spend whole days skimming, flitting, careening. In my moleskin I’ve started writing again, finger bones gripping in quiet concert, the lead becoming a rush of loopy js and ys, answering the same questions each morning: what do I feel? What do I want?
The thing about being married is that it tricks you into the slow, sedate delusion that you actually know the human being you are married to. Because I wake up next to him every morning, heck, I should know my husband like the back of my hand, right? (Although when I think about it, I’m not sure I could describe the back of my hand to anyone without actually LOOKING at it either.) For granted are two words that come into play here, with their accompanying ache and grayness, each syllable painted the color of the rain heavy sky.
And the thing is, for quite some time you can slip into a groove with another person. A routine gets built around you like a Lego fortress, and you’re there inside it, contentedly going about the brightly colored bits of your day. Tea together in the morning, maybe. An easy push-pull exchange of laundry and dishes and getting things done. Then something happens and within hours, seconds, days, whatever, you’re standing facing each other with hot cheeks and fingers clenched wondering who the hell the other person is.
And yet with this baby curveball we’ve got going on, it is something we’re both into. Something that’s made us feel like a unit, a family beyond what we are right now, and we plunged into the long month of July eager with plans and complacent with delight.
I spend much of the day curled like a cat, now, dozing. My dreams are surreal and technicolored and sexy. My stomach is in a constant state of upheaval, the word nausea hardly encompasses the scope of queasy that I feel. It is a perpetual all day thing, indigestion, bloating, every single food suspect.
I turn my nose up at foods I have always loved; I become obsessed with certain food and then suddenly, irrationally, cannot stand them. The kitchen and the refrigerator are a dangerous place. I can hardly stand to open the door. My sense of smell has gone from acute, which it has always been, to hyper sensitive. I can smell onions across the room. Garlic makes me dry heave.
It’s a weird state to have suddenly slipped into. Pregnancy has forced rest upon me. It’s been a long time since I sat in a lawn chair on the grass and did nothing. I sit and watch clouds get tangled at the horizon; swallowtails land on the yellow roses by the door
Even as I feel fiercely protective of my tender belly, where this unexpected miraculous handful of cells is multiplying and growing: tiny arm buds, eyelids, it’s heartbeat like the fluttering wings of birds.
I turn away so he cannot see my eyes, suddenly hot with tears.