Here is some exploration on a character I am working on:
There is nothing worse than wondering if the baby growing inside you is going to live or die. This tiny life exists, and sometimes, in a moment, its fleeting life disappears back into the oblivion, the vast ocean from which we also came before we were born, the same vast sea we will return to when we die.
Sometimes, when I think about having another miscarriage, when I think about having to lose my seventh child, my seventh pregnancy, I sometimes can only think about that black sea, ready to swim in it with all my children.
Let the blackness swallow me whole, I think.
The insidious thought is a stark contrast to the interior decorating I plans I have had for a baby room: white classic American style crib, baskets in a cube-like structures for easy to reach items like diapers or clothing, a literary themed nursery with Winnie the Pooh, Peter Rabbit, and the Cat in the Hat as my child’s cast of first time friends, and a draping curtain with Versailles fleur-de-lis printed symbols, as a tiny effort to add a classic and sophisticated flair to the child’s room, as though a nod or acknowledgement to the infant’s future adult taste in superior fashion, history, and any noteworthy intellectual aesthetic.
I’ve already imagined my child as an adult. I have, in the past, visualized them all into existence, even after they passed on to the other side, long before they have ever been born.
They never even breathed their first breath, and I remember their whole existence—first step, laugh, giggle—even when these moments never happened in reality.
Then where did they happen?
In a land, or place, or a time far away from now.
At one point, we were together, but now they are no longer here.
In the daytime, I encounter stressed out mothers with multiple children, pulling their hair out from their scalp, angry their children don’t put away their Legos, or stressed out because their daughters have been impregnated by men who they believe were never smart enough for their girl to begin with.
And yet, as I watch them complain about their merry-go-rounds of insanity, I cannot help but feel envious.
The older I get, the slower the merry-go-round goes. It is the same views as time goes on. The same perspective of life, after a while, becomes mucked up and delirious. Without sharing the other views of those young and old, it becomes a muted color on a teleprompter, like an emergency broadcast test just to see that the systems are working okay. And it’s back to the regular programming…
But for parents, their constant stress is an indication that life grows and lives and breathes around them in a myriad of ways that is indiscernible to those who have never shared with more than just a lover.
It’s this impeccable melody and horrendous skip on a vinyl record which makes it impossible to shake off.
How much can I ever really know?
What do you think?