Saturday, November 30, 2013


Kiddo is sleeping.  It's dirt road sleep: rough and rutted.  He snorts and sighs and flails; he startles himself awake and then dolphins himself back down.  Asleep or awake, he wears an expression of  perplexity- forehead crinkled, eyes jacked wide as if he can't figure out how he found himself here, in this place, in this time, and wherever it is, it worries him.

I'm worried, too.  The furrows in his brow are the furrows in mine.  I hope this isn't all I've passed on to him -my worry.  I hope there's something else in there, too, some redeeming wrinkle, my quickness or my occasional joy. I hope I've left him some defense, besides sleep, against the great, wide, inrushing world.

Of course, this is crystal ball natter, pointless dowsing of the present for the future.  Who knows what will happen to him, what he'll be besides this sleeping, shitting nub of human.  Or what I'll be, days and months and years into watching him sleep.

Friday, November 29, 2013


Yeah, alright, I had a baby.

And for whatever reason, it makes me itch to write -in a nervous, not-sure-I-can-reach-between-my-shoulderblades-to-scratch kind of way.  Having extruded a tiny human, am I capable of generating anything else?  Or am I, like an old seam of coal, mined out?

I feel picked over, broken up.  The baby-having is not for sissies.  Women may have done it for millenia, but you know what?   A lot of them died.  And if they didn't, they didn't get any sleep and were subsequently tired and vulnerable and got eaten by sabertooth tigers, leaving their tiny, mewling daughters to grow up and perpetrate the next generation.

Surely, if every woman knew exactly what she was getting into, we would have figured out how to pawn this off onto men.  We've at least figured out how to have fewer babies, so that each one we do have becomes the tiny, terrified sac into which we cram the totality of our hopes and anxieties.  Fun times for mom, fun times for babe!

But I'm told you forget.  Biology pulls its rabbit out of a hat- or, rather, stuffs the rabbit back in.  Your memories hop away into darkness and you're left holding the bag.  Or rather, the baby.

Good thing it's cute.  

Friday, November 1, 2013


Birth and death: the last holdouts against the hegemony of the day planner.  Everything else you've got pinned down.  You set appointments; you cancel them and keep them; you schedule them and reschedule them; you generally operate under the assumption that you are the boss of yourself.

And then you give birth.

Or you don't.

I'm five days past my due date, no contractions, no anything doing.  So I'm waiting.  And waiting -real waiting, no deadline, no line in the sand- is uniquely humbling.

We used, of course, to wait all the time.  We waited for the rabbit to spring the trap, for the first green shoots of spring, for the rekindling of light above the horizon.  But we're consummate editors, we humans, and in the last few hundred years we've struck through wait after wait.   We want a rabbit, we head to the grocery store.  We crave greenery, we ship it in from Mexico. At night, we flip on the lights and fire up the TV.  Waiting, nowadays, lurks only in our darkest spaces: a great, moist stillness silting the roots of our lives. 

We are born; we die.  And, for once -or twice- we wait.