Here in California the radiation comes calling. Iodine in stock or not, the invisible plumes of illness and death fluster and fight their way to our coast on the second level winds, the newsman says, with a serious expression because he has to pretend he understands any more than I do what a second level wind really is, or why people have to die.
(My girlfriend is using the hashtag #tryingnottothinkaboutnucleardisaster)
I am being gutted like a fish, beginning with Ever's cesarean birth and moving steadily forward in girth and weight, the turning inside out of skin and soul that happens to me every time I have a baby. I miss Mr. Curry in the worst way, I miss the intense focus of intimacy that is rudely interrupted by my preoccupation with our baby girl, his preoccupation with our baby girl, three other children, a family bed, exhaustion, work, clogged toilets, cooking, cleaning, writing, internet and the sweet spot of ten minutes of complete zone out. zone out/sex : the battle begins. It's not sex I miss the most. I miss us. I fret internally over Mr. Curry possibly falling out of love with me because
1 i wear sweat pants too often, becoming a damn cliche
2 i am boring, in the way that infant obsessed mothers inevitably are
3 i have an image to keep up. ( can you believe i actually THINK these things? still. there it is. )
4 my enthusiasm for a good blow-job has waned to the point of counting on one hand. let's admit
it. one finger.
5 sometimes men just randomly leave their wives
Sometimes the Earth randomly cracks it's head open on the dark endless wall of time and splits itself open, swallowing whole families and towns and grazing herds of goats, leaving one four month old baby soaked and starving and alive for three days under an enormous pile of rubble, to be found by rescuers who could not have been more astonished or more grateful for a sign of life. Sometimes I want to be oblivious.
I am so grateful for my babies and my husband and my mother and my friends that occasionally I look up at the sky and wait for a piece of it to fall and crush me. We are all singled out. We are all crushed. It's the size and weight of the piece that differs. I want to stand above my children and open my arms and let the pieces all fall on me. If the Earth opens or the radiation smooths its way into our breezy March winds, I want to fall, I want to sicken, I want what everyone wants: to save all the children and all the babies, and since that is impossible we want in place of that to save our own.
Nobody has to be alone. This is what prayer means to someone like me who doesn't believe:
now i am telling you, you are not alone It is a ritual to say the unspoken and unsayable.
A baby came along and the things that come with babies- emotional swings, messy houses, fatigue, a lapse in sex, self-doubt, joy, happiness, gratitude, existential despair, hope, love, belly laughs. Nose honking laughter. Possibly, maybe, poison is sluicing it's way through the clogged atmosphere to our home. Possibly, maybe. This list could go infinitely on. And in Japan, and in my town, there is suffering, some acute and despairing, some silenced in death. I am alive and the details of my life are precious. You are alive and the details of your life are precious. Yesterday Mr. Curry swept his callused hands over the back of my left arm for five minutes, up toward my neck, and back down again, while I nursed our baby. Lola sat and cut tiny pieces of paper to make fairy homes. Dakota rode in smelling like sweat and asking if his hair was too long on one side, his lime green skateboard pressed against the wall. Ian moved his hands unconsciously to the music from his earbuds. In Japan, I'm sure of it, someone's life was moving this way, someone's hand loved their wife's smooth skin, someone's children grew loud and stinky, and those people are gone, and we are thinking of them with love and trying to be alive while we are alive.
*title by What Is the What (Vintage)