2011.10.09. words told all around me
It was the second morning of Wordstock when I woke up with that rutting knowledge.
I'll have you know that "rutting" is from the literary foundation-shaking book I've just finished reading, The Forgotten Waltz, and I could already imagine how Anne Enright's voice might sound when she said it, were I to have said it to myself, this morning. I say it now, tonight.
This is the knowledge: that, as I've thought all along, all month almost, since the 16th of September when I threw all in for fate. Laid my money on baby, exhaustion, career derailment, family conflagration and all the rest of it. Why not? Why not bet it all on all? On four children. On five pregnancies. Why the ever loving not.
That I want four children is not in question. That I can live with the consequences -- that any of us can, that we can fit it in, that we can afford it (with money, love or bedspace), that it makes any rational sense at all -- well. I've always been a kind of damn the torpedoes sort. Launching into the fearful mist. Full speed!
And this morning, I awoke, and lifted my head from its vivid-dream sleep (remember to tell the story about the dream with your cousin, Sarah, your cousin who you never quite touched, remember Facebook and the whole family's approval) -- this morning, the gray misty morning, when I had not started my period and yet I had the pit of nausea.
It could have been the apple cider, accidentally turned to semi-dry hard cider, drunk with abandon and just a splash of bourbon. It could have been anything: a virus, the coming of the monthly time. Perhaps that was what it was. Yes. I put on black underwear (just in case). I brought tights. I brought cotton pads. You never know.
I rode my bike to Naito Parkway, past the marathoners trudging their way to the finish line, thinking to myself, "this doesn't look so bad," planning a run next year. A marathon? At least, a half. I handed gummy bears to walkers. I helped clean up. I gave two high schoolers a ride to the Broadway Bridge. I cheered, bike in the middle of the street, Pine and Naito. I went to Wordstock.
It was a loud, stunning haze of words, coming at me from all directions, words that made me laugh, words that made my head spin, words that stopped my heart for a moment. I spoke them and they interrupted me. I sold them and I bought them. I asked them -- asked this new heroine, and that one, and -- !! -- I spotted it at the first go, said Anne Enright. The connection, the inspiration.
I grew increasingly dizzy, wracked so with hunger that I thought I could barely make it home, stumbling as if drunk to my bike, riding while eating, craving hot dogs and barbecue chips and hamburgers and lentils and a big mug of hoppy beer and a quesadilla and mushroom-and-cheese-stuffed ravioli with fat coins of fennelly sausage.
It has been twenty-nine days since my last menstrual period. Oh Holy Father, I do not know if I am pregnant, and I do not know if I want to be. Is it ever, ever up to me? If I am fruitful, if we multiply, please give me the energy and the joie de vivre to write through it all. S'il vous plait.