waiting

July 23, 2008

He was going to pick me up in five minutes to make a spontaneous run to the Great Harvest Bread Co. in Minnetonka. I switched the stereo off, quieted the fans, and took my half-eaten peanut butter bagel and tall glass of ice water to wait for him outside. I leaned against the back of my car in the driveway and waited. Since my hands were full and my ruffled skirt had no pockets, I didn’t bring anything down with me—keys, phone, sunglasses, watch. It was just me, waiting. The sky was peppered with clouds but they were still. I felt like the rhythm of the world was off, but it wasn’t jarring. It was resting and I tried to rest with it.

I eventually started walking up the hill toward the road where Marshall would turn off from. It had barely been four minutes (I guessed) since I had been outside but the resting was over: what if he tried to call me to tell me he was held up at Cub? What if he got in an accident in that mile drive home? What if I waited for him for an hour, and then walked, weeping, along the route I thought he would’ve taken, and find a smashed-up car? Usually these irrational thoughts appear on occasional insomniac nights, when he’s sleeping safe beside me. Those what ifs and what would I dos. But this time, they were so brief, and I laughed at them, and watched my skirt move in the early evening light, and felt so weightless—it was me and my glass of water, and I had locked myself out, and I didn’t have my phone on me, and it was okay.

True enough, he turned onto the drive when he said he would. We entered into a maze of cars, hot and noisy, rushing to get home. We finally made it to the bread shop and he placed a loaf in my hands, asking me to consider the weight of real bread. It was a heavy, solid round loaf. That evening we dipped it in oil and vinegar between bites of salmon and green beans, eating in our underwear. Good music was at the perfect volume and the ceiling fan gently whirred overhead. I was, technically, more weightless than a couple of hours ago, and I looked down at my bellybutton in disbelief—I imagined my uterus: a round, heavy cocoon, a child frowning and squinting inside it, my lungs expanding above to usher in more oxygen, my ribcage opening up to accommodate the new capacity. I imagined this child eating with us at the end of the table, upright in a highchair for the first time, topless in the summer heat, and I wondered at how in the future I will not only bring my keys and phone with me every time I leave the apartment but also a baby on my hip. She/he will be a weight forever on my heart, but the kind that nourishes me; and I may grow impatient of it, and I may long for suppers of just two of us, and I may have fears pop up at night and day when I wait the five minutes for them to come home. But our world will have a rhythm, our own rhythm, with pockets of rest and lazy summer days, and we will grow up together.

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3 Responses to “waiting”

  1. mamasita said

    You got yo papa all choked up and teary eyed. see you soon.

  2. Bethany said

    Beautiful. Thanks for reminding me of those things.

  3. Sarah! said

    Beautiful, Christy! I’m so excited for you!!!

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