It seems, then, that motherhood is uniquely universal/universally unique. Dependant on mother-infant interaction, and the parallel-perpendicular-oblique personalities of both subjects, with additional inputs besides. And while at this stage – infant internal – the only aspect of experience is vicarious, it is useful to be informed. Simultaneously outformed. Psychologically embracing the squirming distention of a formerly singular body. Now dual, soon to be several and returned to its informal former state. Separately connected on the shifting foundations of self. Perpetual destruction and re-creation of the no-longer-sacred and never-profane. Despite all this, unknowable.
So you have to understand. There was this song. No, a series of songs. A whole album stole me. While I drove months down the curves of that road. To, past, from lovers who forget me still. Nights breaking the surface of a melody. Thin skin of ice meeting pavement and breaking where tires tear at frost. Who was she?
The soundtrack bubbles against a crush of bodies. Recorded piano glides between legs and sashays around hips; the silent clip of hard soles against harder concrete outside this microcosm on wires. We are all bound to this route. Lurching to predestined stops. Except when our our minds are overwhelmed with everything we’ve accepted. And we change the sign to flash SORRY, FULL. But not soon enough. Each thought grazes the knees of another, pressed thigh to thigh and arm to arm. Careful never to make eye contact, except in the briefest moments when your eyes make sense to mine.
These memories wander long. Time as convoluted as a cerebral cortex. Months still shiny under all the dust. Polished too smooth from too much tumbling. Does she remember who I turned out to be?
In high powered streetlights and low level bridges. The wandering nights of a conversation interspersed with hours of separation. You found in me an I in you. A you in I. We loved (but not too much) in all the right ways and ended on the other side of phrases. Choked with one too many quips or quivers against your ear. I followed and fell. You fell and followed. The opposites of accidents and accidental opposition. We spun inside the curl of current and drifted downstream. Until we were too far from where we started to know where we had come to rest.
Not just here. Everywhere. I haven’t been anywhere. Which you claim is impossible, but these months disappear under something I can’t explain. Maybe too much snow, maybe darkness. But, in fact, I have been away. The unspoken always remains unheard, n’est-ce pas? And what is, what could possibly be, the sound of disconnection? A pop, a snap, a snarl, a slorp. The click of heels on linoleum tile. It is the sound of belief and disbelief in love, in forgiveness. The sound of rejecting a celebration of one’s value. I approach minor milestones with apprehension.
“There ain’t no dress rehearsal,” he says. My ankles twitch against atrophy. Events tumble into avalanche and all my fears are buried. Nothing waits. I can be within or without. These are the doors: one, two, three. We always want door number four.