25 May 2012

I went to the hospital today for a new hire health screen. As I was walking toward the terrace entrance in my purple scrubs, I was reminded that this is a place I never expected to find myself in: that I am one of the people in the scrubs. I don't work here, but I belong here, though when I walk in it smells like a hospital and I dislike it as much as anyone. The last time I was here my then month-old grandson was here on the peds unit with bronchitis and a tiny IV line in his pink heel. I had scrubs on then, too. I had different plans for my life than this, at a time. But here I am.

I passed a woman in the parking lot. The white door of her car was hanging open, and she was sitting there with her legs hanging out, sobbing loudly. This is a place of sad news. I wanted to go over to her and kneel down and pat her hand, but she was actually on the phone with someone. Instead I hurried past her into the "employee health" section of the building, a cramped and dingy-looking area. Ironically, I was seated in the waiting area next to a new student midwife who was also waiting her turn. There was a time when I would have struck up a conversation about birth, but I found myself awkwardly shy. Why would she care if I once had aspirations to be a midwife? I fiddled with my phone instead, waited my turn to pee in a cup in front of someone.

20 May 2012

I almost cried in the grocery store on Friday. I'm not much of a crier- excepting the occasional meltdown, not much shakes me to tears. But as I grow older they seem to come more easily.

This was a quarter to six in the evening. I had just finished a 9-hour day at work and I was tired and trying to grab a few items to get through the dinner meal. As I turned my cart onto the chip aisle to get some microwave popcorn, there was a mother with her 2 boys there. The boys were horsing around a bit as kids do, and the mother was scolding them to stop. Suddenly, one of the boys tumbled onto the floor and rolled right in front of my cart. Maybe the brother pushed him. He looked up at me with tears in his eyes and just laid there staring at me. I of course couldn't move because he was blocking my path. It was then that the mother glanced over in his direction and then said to him: I'm going to knock your motherfucking head off.

The kid looked about seven.

I wondered what sort of parent would say that to a child. I wouldn't even say that to someone I hated. I smiled feebly at the little boy and he moved enough for me to wheel my cart past him. I got around to the next aisle and it was then that the tears stung my eyes. What is his life like? How terribly hard growing up must be for some kids. I thought of his sad eyes boring into mine. I thought of the good people in social services and school counseling who spend their lives trying to help these little ones. It must be hard and discouraging.

And then I thought of all the bullshit hoops that adoptive parents have to go through to get their hands on a child to love, when any old unfit idiot who happens to be fertile can have kids.

13 May 2012

Never Enough Time

I keep trying to write. I do. But something always happens. there just isn't enough time. The washer is trilling for me to move the clothes over. Or I sit down to write and Ezra shuffles past the doorway and I know he's bored and then I feel too guilty to sit and write. Or any other number of things that take me from the small amount of time I have when I'm not at work. People come in and look at my screen. I don't like for people to look at my screen. I can never quite remove myself from my surroundings anymore. Writing is fizzling. Ariel Gore tells me to forget that stuff about needing money and a room of one's own to write. But dude, I get that. I need that. I have lost countless thoughts and words because I am never, ever alone for any length of time. How early would I have to get up to beat everyone else to some solitude? Most days, I am out the door by 7:10am and barely coherent, much less ready to bang out some words. Not sure what my solution is these days. I really think I need to break away from the computer altogether and just go back to a little notebook and a quiet corner. Sometime.