Don't hand me that baby, dear! I'll drop the thing on her head. I'd say, pushing little one back towards the adults, the responsible ones in another class (parents) of another epoch (minions in the Age of Responsibility).
Not for me, those babes in all their need,
pleas, my heavy resistance to anyone caught pushing a stroller
I was too free.
Too selfish, I touted them with this line, yes, "I'm just too selfish right now for children." That would shut them up. Stop the presses. The pressure, that is, to connect my prime fertility ("Don't wait until you're too old!") with the expectation that I would, one day, most certainly desire a little, squirmy one. My clock never ticked. My wholeness never threatened to separate like oil from her vinegar, if I were to go without a being inside of me. My eyes never traveled the belly of an expectant woman. I was never expecting anything but the next adventure,
threatened to take from me what I had, my freedom. My choice. My self.
Then one day...(all stories flow this way, incessantly pushing the plot forward, when the heroine finds her epiphany. Well. My epiphany...)
My epiphany began as I lunged over the metallic, rimless toilet, no toilet paper, no towels, barely a lock to hold the swinging narrow door in place, on this train jerking me towards Romania.
14 hours, Budapest to Sigisoara, where the real beast of Dracula was born, atop a citadel city that walled itself in, this destination 2 weeks to my 28th birthday, my partner waiting in coach, with hundreds more waiting, no longer interested in that scenery.
14 hours of scenery. 14 hours making the rounds between my head in his lap, and my head in the toilet, which had not a bowl but a hole where I'd watch the ground moving beneath, and vomit some more. I was unable to block the cigarette fumes from my nostrils--those beasts, they spent years ignoring the wildflowers and appetizers, but now have decided to give the dog a run for its money, in a stomach churning ability to detect every odiferous culprit on that god-damn, too-long train limping along from Budapest to Sigisoara, where every damn Eastern European sucked on their cigarette and no American dare raise her voice.
We arrived in the morning, but I was stuck in the middle of the night, and contributed nothing to our jaunt with Dracula's past, nothing but my need to nap. I napped at the hostel, then I napped at the campground. On our way out of town, back on the train, going south now, my routing went from Nap to Puke, and our travels continued this way. I puked all the way to Brasov, then napped on the bench outside Brasov's poem to Communism (blocks of angular buildings like outcroppings of Tetris rectangles, available only in grey), I puked back to Budapest, then napped again, then puked to Venice, napped by the gondolas, and puked my way towards Rome. In Rome, Ryan visited the Vatican and the ruins. I laid in bed, eating saltines and drinking ginger ale and reading crappy mystery novels left by other travelers in the "hostel" (really, it was a 1-bedroom apartment with 6 beds, 4 Japanese, 2 Americans and a hot-pot in a pear tree). Leaving Rome, I puked to the coast, then we set up camp and I slept until we caught an early flight back--can a girl sleep for 9 days straight?--and when we agreed to visit the health clinic for a test, I told Ryan to wait until Friday, it was the 13th, our lucky number, because I knew then, what had been so obvious but so unseen (except to my mom, who heard me tell her over the phone, as we tried to arrange an early return home, that I was surviving on saltines and soda, and she, who knew that all Massongill women survived on saltines and soda only when they were the big P).
...I'll stop here. Please no critique! This was truly a freewrite, and the thought of feedback would have stopped me from letting this out. More to come---and now, imagining someone reading this, and hearing my early fears of parenthood, I must amend the end:
Rory came on March 21
13 months ago.
By then I was ready for this wise
and Old Alien
to meet us, this time around. His coming here
redefined my definitions.
I am now walking free