Saturday, June 12, 2010

Baby Theme Continues

Sometimes, synchronicity is just creepy. (See Exile's post from yesterday.)

Today, Saturday, I get up with the first gentle ding of the Zen timepiece and contentedly leave the Fabulous Fiancé curled up under the covers while I slip downstairs to make my traditional breakfast: four slices of turkey bacon, two fried eggs, half an English muffin and an espresso. I like this breakfast alone at our big stone table, watching the early show at the bird feeder with the calm voices of NPR narrating the world for me.

All is well.

By 8:30 I am up in my studio, warming up the Skype and getting ready for my 9:00 web class. Urban Exile teaches Spanish and Writing online to her clients who rather miraculously turn up and slip me love notes via PayPal. I love and am grateful for these classes which, for the most part, we both enjoy and which provide UE with an ethical way to make a living. My 9:00
starts a little late (Sat. 9 AM is always late), and the lesson goes well. Topic: related idiomatic uses of the future indicative and present indicative. This is a topic I like a lot because it clearly demonstrates how tense as well as mood connote tone in Spanish.

Anyway, the class goes well, and then at the end of it, Saturday 9 o'clock says: Oh by the way, I have big news. I am pregnant! Four months. The baby will come in November.

I am so happy for you. I say. Felicitaciones, I say. Good for you. And I am happy for her: She's a nice woman with a great job and a husband who also has a great job and they are young and married and pretty. Good.

Saturday 9'0clock and I sign off and I go downstairs where FF is in our bedroom and he sees my expression which must be odd-looking to him, dazed and blank. My expression is enough to compel FF hug me immediately without asking a single question (thus once again earning his first name, Fabulous), and I say: I feel strange.

We sit on the edge of the bed and I tell him the news from Saturday 9 o'clock and at that point the tears start to come without sobs, without words, just salty tears rolling down my very blank face. I use my palms to try to rub away the pain in my chest, the pressure at the front of my head, I try to breathe deeply and make the bad, hurty feeling go away.

FF knows and I know: We will never have any children.

Is there a biological reason for this? No, except possible my age, but as far as I know I can still conceive. No, it's more than FF doesn't really want it, and I do but not with a partner who doesn't really want it. And anyway I've begun to feel that maybe you can be too old to have children, rather more on an emotional level than a physical one. FF and I spent so many lifetimes looking for each other, and we went through a great deal of personal suffering on our way to this place of almost-wedded bliss: Just as we are preapring to settle in and have a quiet, peaceful life for once, maybe it doesn't feel quite right to have a baby around.

That said, I am in mourning. I will never have a baby. I am in mourning for me, my ancestors gone and my descendants never to be. 9 o'clock Saturday, 6:30 Tuesday, and probably 2 o'clock Friday all will see their bellies turn into beach balls. All will be treated like queens in a hive. All will gasp in pain and awe as a human emerges from between their legs (and I do hope they don't get Caesar sliced by the over-eager docs). All will weep with joy as they behold the beauteous angels that will rest in their arms. All will see their husbands turn into gentler, more touching creatures than they ever imagined they could be.

This will not happen for me and FF.

For so many years I hung onto New York as if it were a purpose and achievement in itself, as if just being there were enough. But I couldn't grasp my own truths until I met True Oak, my caring therapist. Truth: what I needed, what I really wanted, was a loving, regular guy who would have babies with me and take care of us. Further, my heart knew before my mind did that I would be more likely to find him in a nice small town than in Harlem or the Lower East Side. If I hadn't found him there in 20 years, why would I ever find him there? But I stuck to New York as if it held a truth more important than my own, as if New York itself were my mate and I tried to swallow the untruth that it was enough to be artist, to be striving, and that having babies and being a wife were things for ordinary, boring people. I was trying to be Someone, trying to float above the jetsam of my own sense of unimportance and invisibility, trying to feel accomplished for walking the same sidewalks as the stars and semi-stars I sometimes saw passing by.

True Oak would say I am being to hard on myself. She would say I am accomplished, that I have done a lot of wonderful things. People are amazed at the careers I've had, the people I've met, journeys I have taken, the lives I have lived. But somehow I didn't manage to accomplish doing the most natural thing in the world: Falling in love and making a family.

Sitting on this bed in Tiny Town today with my FF sitting by my side, his strong arm hugging me gently, I said goodbye to having a baby. And I wonder if this will hurt forever, or if I will get used to it someday?

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