Tuesday, January 27, 2009
Yes, I am simultaneously manufacturing a small human and writing a book of personal essays titled "Disaster Preparedness." The two projects dovetail nicely. The book is filled with stories from my childhood, stories in which I discover that my parents hate each other, there is no God, the Iran Hostage Crisis is very likely to lead to World War III, and no one can tell you with absolute certainty that the stuff in "Invasion of the Body Snatchers" (which I saw in the theater when I was 8 years old) will never happen. It's a warm, uplifting, ultimately hopeful tale, in other words.
The pregnancy is filled with aches, pains and an odd ballooning of my person that, if I don't dress very carefully, one observer said makes me look "like a truck driver who stops at Hardee's a little too often." I prefer to think of myself as Jabba the Hutt, because I'm huge and disgusting and bossy and I mostly sit in one place all day, eating live frogs. (OK, cherry pie.) Also, I really need one of those pointy-eared, cackling, weasel-looking creatures to sit next to me, like Jabba has -- a little buddy who tosses his head back and laughs in a mean-spirited, nasty way whenever someone approaches Jabba and makes a request that Jabba's not remotely interested in honoring. You know, like "Put down the taco," "Change the diaper on that other kid you manufactured," or "Stop making R&B songs out of the random things I say." (After my husband squeezed a stiff honey bottle into my tea for me, I made up a little song, then my daughter spent a good three days singing, in a scratchy soul voice, "Daddy, can you help me get my honey out?")
But late-stage pregnancy is also about bracing yourself against the coming storm, which makes it a lot like much of my childhood. That must be why I savor this sense of impending doom so much!