Sunday, February 27, 2005

Who Has Taken Over Rowena?

I went to sleep last night at nine p.m. That's still in prime time. Before Seinfeld and Blind Date. And it wasn't just me. Sean went to sleep, too. Passed out, the both of us. We slept all night.

Actually, by the time it was near dawn, I was having a hard time sleeping, as my hip was hurting again. My hip hurts a lot. Most often after a few hours of laying on my side. Something to do with the joints stretching.

A strange thing, this pregnancy.

You spend all your life being a human being. Not just a human being. Being an individual, doing things, living your life, trying to make it meaningful and fulfilling. You're even a feminist, believing in a woman's power to do anything in life that she sets her mind to. You are in control of your will, and your body--you are in control of your destiny, even if you struggle occassionally to be that kick ass warrior queen that you're aiming to be.

And then you get pregnant and your body is not your own. And not even in ways that you expect. I mean, you hear all about it. You've read Our Bodies, Our Selves, you know what a uterus is and what it's for. But none of that reading prepares you for the wholesale change in... you.

I've always been someone who needed my full night's sleep. Eight hours, nine if I could manage it, and somehow, I've always thought that it made me more productive than those who slept six, or five, or four hourse. The way I could focus on projects or put my all into things. But now, here I am, sleeping nine or ten hours, sometimes more, and that is not enough. I simply collapse in mid afternoon. Like today. That much sleep and I tried, I really tried not to get so sleepy by noon-- even took a shower to try and wake up, but I just ended up nodding out on the couch. I wanted to get stuff done. I wanted to write or paint or something like I used to do, but there was just no help for it.

At least I managed to get a little house work done today. So bizarre. But nowhere near as wierd as the first three months, where I just did not know where I had gone. Nothing but sleeping and staring off into the emptiness that is t.v.

Now I'm just sleeping, not in that strange non-place that I was before, but I still have the knowledge that inside this body that has always been mine, just mine-- is someone who is not me. Not at all.

Thursday, February 24, 2005

I Think This is an Ode to the MTA

You know what's cool? Standing in the subway station, waiting for your train, and looking across the train tracks to see falling snow sift through the sidewalk grate onto the tracks below.

Fresh snow always seems so pure somehow. It always cleans things up a little, gets rid of the noise and the dirt so that you can breathe-- so that you can be the you that is underneath the running around and being crazy of New York.

Even just that one little fall of snow underneath the streets... it kinda snaps you out of the hustle. The subways are noisy and dirty and crowded, even dangerous, but they are also beautiful. Am I the only one that sees it? The shadows and scaffoldings. The way nature takes over in these tiny pieces-- like water dripping down the tiles to turn it all shades of rust and green.

You know I think I have had some of my most transcendental New York moments on the subway-- music echoing down the tunnel, so many times, so many different kinds, so many different moments. Or the way everyone on the subways kind of let down their guards, just for a moment, in the days after the World Trade Center. You saw the real, naked New York in their eyes.

And all that is not even taking into account the freedom that the subway provides. Anywhere, everywhere in New York, you can go, for two bucks. You don't realize how amazing it is until it breaks down. Then you miss it, the freedom, the ease.

Don't think I'm forgetting the melting pot that is the subways. I'm not, but everyone always writes about it.

I do however wish that people would remember that there is an etiquette to riding the subways. Don't stand in the middle of the doorways-- let people off before you get on, move in, so others can get on. And for god's sake, apologize if you bump into or step on someone. Very simple, but it makes everything go smoother.

But not to end on a sour note, when I was a teacher of English and writing and poetry, I had this little subway exercise I used to practice. I had a really short ride, so not really time for quality reading or writing in my journal, but I would give myself the task of writing a poem between one station and the next. One minute, two minutes, even three minutes, tops. Maybe they weren't great poems, but just like everything in life, the more you practice, the more you work at a thing, the better you get. So my mini poems were like warm ups. Creative power brain food.

I wrote one. I need it. Feed me. Feed me.

First Ave to Bedford

Falling snow. Winter's last breath.
I am hungry
for new.
I'll let go the stillness of
icy purple skies, and down comforters, hot cocoa,
closing my eyes not to see.
I'll Give it up for the thunder of Spring.
Storm and ozone. Birth.

What has taken root
in this long season of

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Poppa Bear, Momma Bear, Baby Bear

Yesterday, Sean came home and said he had a present. He pulled these army green satchels out of a plastic bag. They reminded me of the army/navy bags that the girls used to carry as purses, when I was in high school. Or the character in my novel, who uses one of the suckers to haul her art supplies around. One, two, three packages, he pulls out, then he says, "I got the family pack."

So I got a hold of one of the packages and started looking at them. It was this kind of snout thing, made of heavy rubber with bug eyes and an attachable canister. A gas mask. Sean brought home not one, not two, but three gas masks. Poppa bear, momma bear and baby bear. I didn't even know they had baby sized gas masks.

How bizarre. What the hell am I doing with a gas mask? Not to mention a gas mask for a baby that I haven't even had yet. It figures that one of the first pieces of baby equipment I would get would be to be used in the case of traumatic emergency. I mean, is it even really useful? Think about it. What are the chances that we have the things available exactly when we need it? What kind of world is it that we live in that we would actually need to own gas masks?

It just might be the most frightening present I have ever recieved.
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