Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Naive Love Scenes I Probably Don't Have the Courage to Hope For

- Let's listen to the mass in B minor.
- again?
- at least the Kyrie.
[she shakes her head from where she's sitting on the couch, with her feet propped up]
____the baby wants to.
- oh really.
- yes really.
- and how do you know this?
- my baby loves Bach.
- your baby loves Bach? um, would that be the one that's in my body?
- yes. that same said baby.
- well that baby is bored to death of Bach.
- it she he (i really wish you'd let us
- _____________________i said no!
- fine fine, it she he is not bored of Bach.
[she pretends it annoys her, but really she loves it when i call the baby it she he, and i know that because she can't hide her smiles very well]
- come sit by me darling. i want to listen to the Kyrie.
- really?
- yes dear, come and bring me another pillow.
[i go to get her a pillow and walk back]
- but try not to rub your head all over my breasts ok? they're tender today.
- what good is this whole exercise then?
- you're a pervert.
- you're a prude.
[as i settle in with half my head on her lap, and her bulbous belly rubbing against the other half. once comfortable i stop moving. and i notice three heartbeats at once. i can't tell whose is whose. and feel so happy, and decide we can all share]

it's overcast and the beach is loud. too loud. i try and put it out of mind by concentrating on the color of the sand. the color of the sky. i can't focus on anything. she comes and sits by me, at first i'm annoyed by the intrusion. she shook the sand beneath me when she sat and i was momentarily off-balance. i grimace a little but try and hide it. she notices but doesn't hold it against me. she sits besides me a little while, letting the air around us settle. there's a nasty gust of wind but it soon passes. i consider leaving, the noise, that damned din. finally she makes her move and puts her head on my shoulder. i think for a few seconds, and decide to accept her affection, if for no other reason, i don't really want to upset her. i put my chin on her head. i feel her tension dissipate. she's calmer now. i can sense all that through my chin, and the halves of our torsos that are rubbing. one of her hands comes up behind me, touches the back of my neck, and plays with my curls. i think how in a few years there won't be enough hair left for her to play with. that makes me sadder. the other hand dips into my oversized sweater and presses my undershirt to my stomach. she's been doing that for years. i exhale. she lets my message be presented absorbed lost to the world in silence. then she leans in close to my ear and says i know baby, i know. she rubs her nose against my cheek. i nod quietly, trying not to cry. i don't want to cry. it's important that i do not cry. it just is. we're going to be ok. ok? you and me, we're going to be ok. you hear me in there? i can't speak, so i sigh again. and she knows what that means. she kisses my temple, and whispers with a wry smile good boy. and i can't help it, i emit a sorrowful laugh.

- can i daddy?
- what did your mother say?
- she said no.
- then no, you cannot.
- daddy!
- yes dear?
- no! why can't you make any decisions on your own?
- i can. but your mother's already made this one.
- what, is she like the Judge of the family?!
- yes.
- why, may i ask daddy?
- because she has better judgement.
- that's grossly unfair.
- who taught you that word?
- i heard you say it over the phone.
- well it is not grossly unfair my dear, it simply is the sound decision your mother made and i'm supporting her decision.
- then it's just gross.
- i love you baby.
- i'll love you again later.
- boo to you.
- boo to you [as she walks away]
(that's code for: we still love each other)

- i hate seeing you in the hospital.
- what? this is the happiest occasion of our lives, what are you talking about!
- i don't care if it's the birthday of the freaking world, i don't like seeing my wife in a hospital bed.
- i'm not sick, i'm pregnant.
- symptoms are the same.
- oh you're a doctor now?
- no. just a guy who doesn't like seeing his wife in _ the hospital!
- listen, i've stood by you through everything! through every damn time you're boo-hoo depressed about something, and even that time i caught you flirting with that little whore from the gym
- i was not flirting
- darling, whatever, you were, moving on, and now, you, my sweetest dear, are going to sit there and put up with the smell of placenta until i'm through giving birth to our baby. understood?
- yes dear.
- that's what i like to hear. say it for me again.
- yes dear.
- ooh yeah, mommy likes it when you say that.
- lol. you're a dickhead.
- i know. give me a boos and then go get me some water.

it's happening now, but it feels like it already has. or no, maybe... maybe it's something that's going to happen again, but is now as well... like sunrise. like something so familiar. it's hard to describe. i let go her hand and she looks back at me to see if i'm still following her. i am, yes yes, i am, i'm here. i reach out and touch the top of her neck, her shoulder. she reaches around and touches my arm. it's all touching. soo damned touchy-feely. i take two quick steps and come up behind her, and put my arms around her shoulders and neck and kiss the top of her head. all hair and that delicious smell of shampoo. she's touching my arms. i don't want to let go, but the crowd pushes us on. i can't let go. i have to touch her. every moment not touching her is not life. i reach out again and hold her wrist, then higher up, i hold her arm, it's soo soft. climb up and touch her shoulder. she slides out of my grasp and laughs as she runs a few steps. i follow her and keep up. dodge a few people in my way. it's almost time! yes dear, it is it is - but i don't care about that, i'll never care about anything else again. she looks up and the first crack is heard and she laughs delighted. she takes my arms and puts them around her again, like they were a moment ago in the crowd. i'm behind, my lips to the back of her head as she stares up at the lights and sounds. more and more people fill in the spaces around us. she squeals at the exceptionally loud cracks, her body reacting. and mine reacting to hers. i thank god for every good and bad thing, in that precise order that led me to this moment. and i sigh. she takes those seriously, and turns around and looks me straight in the eye, and says: you better appreciate me freak. and we laugh.

1 comment:

alexandra said...

i've come back to read the sentence about three simultaneous heartbeats too many times to count now...