Bat out of hell
I am seven months pregnant. It has been a long ride since my
last blog, which coincidentally was posted the same day I conceived this baby.
Gross, when you consider that April day was characterized by hairy bulgogi,
dirty change rooms and an evacuation from a contaminated wave pool. Not much
has changed since then except that I grew some udders and now wake up at four.
I own those dark hours in the morning.
Before the snooze button starts and the little people descend from
upstairs and assemble in the kitchen.
This morning I sat at the table and reviewed a story my six
year old had composed with a mix of amusement and pride when I came to the sick
realization that I had had a sex dream last night. With Meatloaf. I began
rubbing Purel over my body when my son arrived at the foot of the stairs and
after insisting I breathe on his armpit, asked if I could make him some toast.
I did both, hoping they would serve as distractions from the post-traumatic flashbacks of paradise by the dashboard
lights, behind the customer service desk at the Superstore and in a movie
theatre with really narrow seats.
My daughter arrived at the breakfast table next and began
rehearsing her story and finally my husband emerged from upstairs. You look tired, he commented. I took a
sip of my coffee. You know how Meatloaf
says he would do anything for love but he won’t do that? He nodded,
obediently drinking down his whey protein. Go
on, he encouraged. Well it’s not
true. I said. He’ll do that too.
He finished his shake and tip-toed out of the kitchen likely
wondering how he came to be surrounded by weird people. Have a good day, I said. You
too, he replied, patting my head. The rest of us finished breakfast and
headed to the bus stop where I learned my daughter had left her story at home. She
started to cry so I told her I’d run back and get it. What if the bus comes? She asked, panicking. Tell the driver I went to get your snack. Then I ran, like a bat
out of hell, on Halloween morning in the snow, 7 months pregnant. Body parts
clapped and shook as they had with Meatloaf. When I returned to the stop out of
breath and disheveled, the bus had arrived and my daughter was already seated
inside. The driver reached out her hand.
Here’s her snack, I said. It tastes really good folded.
With everyone gone his or her separate way, I returned home.
I sat back at the kitchen table and thought about the last seven months; the
lethargy of summer, the acceleration of fall, my complete inability to create
anything but human life. I looked in the mirror, examining my bulging shape and
dark eyes and despite it all, felt pretty good. I savored my remaining few
minutes of quiet, then left to pick up both kids for lunch.
My son and I arrived early at my daughter’s school and we
wandered the halls outside the office to kill time. It was then I noticed the
collage of photos posted on the bulletin board from the school’s welcome back
barbecue taken in late September. Families of all sizes and shapes partaking in
the annual tradition and there on the top, my own family spread across a picnic
blanket with me at the helm, legs apart, jamming a piece of processed meat down
my throat. My jaw dropped in horror. The size of my chest and belly. The drool
that appeared to be coming out of my mouth. The collection of used ketchup
packages at my feet. Then I looked over to see my daughter rushing towards me,
arms wide open, her first lunch date with me since the school year began and I
realized I would do anything for love, and taking one parting glance at the
hotdog photo, like Meatloaf, I’ll do that