mark has been after me to write our story in snapshots... just moments here and there that capture something real. here is one snapshot. maybe you'll like it.
the room is so dark it's almost black. from where i lay, i can't make out it's edges. of course, that could be the drugs. the barest light falls from a picture unchanging on the screen high on the wall: two small grey circles against a slightly lighter shade. our hopes pinned to the ceiling. the dimness is meant to soothe and calm, but the effect is undone by the sharp, white light aimed between my knees. i examine my feet, really the only thing i see clearly, and am glad i choose to wear my knee high socks. the thick black and white stripes running up my calf are the only protection i've got in this room full of strangers and half-strangers. the valium, like the lighting, is also intended to relax me, which it does- i certainly feel no anxiety - but it has the unintended side effect of making me chatty. i can't seem to stop the words from streaming out of my mouth, commenting on all sort of inane things, despite the doctor's urging that i remain quiet. somewhere behind my shoulder comes an awkward pat and a gentle shush, mark urging me to follow orders, but he has no effect. my tongue will not be stilled. i am in awe of those glowing grey orbs on the screen... two tiny, unformed lives. everything that they could be, will be, might be; all wrapped up in a perfect circle. no evidence of life, but life pulsing none the less. i wonder aloud who they will be. are they boys or girls? what will they would be good at? how they will look? will they take more after their dad or their mom? i am shushed again, this time by the doctor who seems to be concerned that hopes will get too high, that if something were to go wrong, the grief will be more crushing for having wondered.
i've never cared much for hopelessness, so i hoped. i knew, even. inside, where knowing doesn't have to be backed up by facts, where hope and love live a happily married life, i knew. it was easier for me, i suppose, because those orbs weren't my little life-hopes. i suspect that mark and tina were terrified by my cheerful patter, scared not just of hoping, but of pinning their hopes on a loopy girl in wicked-witch-of-the-west socks who had come into their lives mere months before. a girl they barely knew, but who had staked her claim to them and wouldn't let go. indeed, i had pitched my tent in the garden of their lives like a hippie, wandering barefoot through a history that ought to have been shared, making up for lost time with ferocity. i knew no other way to be.
so there i lay, naked but for a sheet and socks, feet high in cold metal stirrups, awkward but in awe. in awe of finding mark. in awe of what intelligence and creativity and persistence have allowed humanity to discover and learn. awe that i was participating in such a reckless, lovely scheme.
the whole thing took only seconds. two little futures, resting now in my body. i welcomed them, patted my belly and told them to dig in and make themselves a home, temporary though it would be.
back in the brightly lit recovery room (what was i meant to be recovering from?) it was just mark and me, tina having wiped her tears and left for work. he leaned forward with his iphone and played me a song that i had previously told him was going to be my theme song for the next 9 months....'capri' by colbie callait. i was suddenly embarrassed, couldn't meet his eye. maybe the valium was wearing off, but the words dried up and i could think of nothing to say that would fit the moment. it was too big for me.
we've never really talked about that day, any of us. maybe they did, in the quiet of their room that night, hidden in the dark where words and feelings seem safer, but we didn't talk to each other. i have so many questions now. i wonder how it felt for them, the whole thing. i want a moment by moment play by play of how they felt, what they thought.
we drove home mostly silent, mark and me, and i pretty quickly fell asleep on the couch, drained by the emotion of the morning and encouraged by the doctor's orders to spend 3 days laying down. when i woke up, mark was on the sectional beside me watching tv and on the coffee table, right in my sight line, was an apple and a knife. it seems like a small thing, but it wasn't; not to me. everything we didn't, or couldn't say was in that apple. the whole world in a tight, red skin. i said 'thanks' and he smiled. it was enough.