21 March 2008

gym socks

So it's Good Friday. My eating spree if over, thank God, and I'm ready to begin the ascent to normalcy once more. Why can't I ever remember how awful I feel when I decide to eat a scone, an apple fritter, and an oatmeal cookie, all within an hour- not to mention a big cup of coffee to wash it all down.

I think I'll make up some post it notes with little gentle reminders, saying things like "HORRIBLY, SMELLY & OFFENSIVE GAS", "THE BLOATING WILL MAKE YOU LOOK TWO MONTHS PREGNANT", "YOU'LL FEEL LIKE CRAP" and "DON'T DO IT!!!" Then, when I'm in the mood to 'graze', I'll whip out the post its, and place them in strategic locations: the cupboard door, the freezer door, or maybe I'll just hold them in my hands- in place of the snacks. That's it, I'll hold onto little snips of neon paper telling me how awful I'll feel if I replace the paper with snacks. Yeah, that'll work.

Any way, enough rambling...

It's quiet here at work today. We are closed for lunch because of Good Friday. One might think "horray for the chefs, they get a shift off," but no such luck. They're down in the kitchen now. Scrubbing, until everything shines like the top of the Chrysler building.

This morning I woke up around 8am. Got out of bed, took about six paces, then slumped onto another horizontal surface- the couch in my living room. Then, for about two hours I stared at my furniture. I even got mad at it. I have this thing, where I can only go about 2.5 weeks before I feel a need to rearrange the furniture.

Well, the need to rearrange happen to hit around 11pm last night. Ever so quietly, I put little gym socks under the feet of all my furniture, and did ice capades all over my living room floor. The last time I moved all the furniture around, my landlord appeared at my apartment door. His hair was disheveled and his face was all wrinkled and awry. "I was trying to take a nap," he said. "Next time, just put something under the furniture so it doesn't scratch the wood." Hence, the little gym socks.

Unfortunately, I didn't make much progress. My place looks like it's been ransacked. Stacks of books everywhere and the carpet, folded in four, sits like a giant hill in the middle of my living room. I'm too discouraged to know where to begin replacing things. And, the sad thing is, I think the furniture arrangement was actually best before I moved a thing. Oh well. at least I was able to burn off about 23 calories of the fritter in the dance of it all.

Sunday is Easter and I'm looking forward to the sunrise service that I'll be attending along the Schuylkill. A brunch will follow. Lets just hope I can once again live and practice some self control. Oh dear Father, not another cookie.

19 March 2008

I could go for a cookie now. The cheap kind. Like a box of generic animal crackers from the grocery store. But it's getting kind of late now, and to put on my boots really seems like a chore. So, I'll put off the decision and listen to my belly growl in the meanwhile. Sometimes I eat just telling myself that it will quiet my noisy stomach. It usually doesn't work, but I like eating, nonetheless, so I do it a lot. Sometimes, in the morning, when I get my coffee, if I don't have a stirrer, I'll use my chubby finger. Then I lick my chubby finger so I don't get milk all over my shirt or pants. (Or sometimes I'll wipe my finger on the car seat -if I'm driving). If only I had some animal crackers now. I'd eat them till their sweetness stung the insides of my teeth. I might even have to unbutton my pants and undo the zipper. But, hey, if it quiets my stomach, it's certainly worth it. It's really not that late. Now, where did I leave my boots?

Have you ever felt yourself getting fat? You know, you feel lazy, you snack more and your stomach feels big and heavy. You're probably getting fat if you feel like that. I feel fat tonight. I ate five cookies and a slice of pizza. I also had a beer and twice I've rolled over on my elbow to let out some gas. Now that's getting fat.
Blues play on the radio, my steady companion, and the lines of this paper remind me of the monotony of life. We wait, wait, wait. Hot water, ecstasy, a warm oven, and a pay stub. Labor, wait. Labor, wait.
Adam had strength and Eve round breasts. Together they fell and now we wait.

11 March 2008

silver moon

it sure was something being in that delivery room when caleb was born. my sister moaned and groaned, sounds that were beautiful and only could accompany a woman trying to bring forth her son into this fallen world.

part of me wanted to rush to her side. in this pain she deeply felt. but, there was nothing i nor her husband could do to alleviate such the pangs of birth.

she was so cool. so calm. back and forth she swayed her head as her knees and pregnant belly were submerged in the whirls of the jacuzzi. alternating, ryan and i, slowly poured warm water across the lows of her back. elbows on the edge of the tub, my sister, with two braids, back and forth, rocking her head.

every 45 seconds a contraction would come. for about 30 seconds, the pain was bearable, then the last 10 seconds or so, usually the last 3, she would let out a deep gallowing, full yelp of sorts. an utterance that only a woman in birth could echo out. it was indeed a bit fearsome. like i said earlier, i wanted to help, to leave, to escape that horrific scream...but, it's part of bringing forth a child. in this fallen world.

so she made it for one last contraction, submerged in the tub, before we saw fit to quickly and immediately wheel closer the surgical tools and ready the bed.

slowly, she rose out of the water. one knee at a time bends and she is dripping wet, finding her way to a large plastic blown up ball covered in a birthing cloth. she straddles it and has one last amazon contraction. the nurses called her amazon woman. two braids down her back, blood on the floor, a child soon to be born. she screams "he's here."

it was all we could do to somehow try to maneuver her to the bed. the child's head was ready to come out, but no one was present to do proper delivery. panic almost set in. and i, of all people, was sent to find barb. barb was the midwife who had left her phone in some other patients room, and wasn't anywhere to be found to deliver this coming child.

i rushed to the door, to exit and yell for barb, when just then, barb appeared. she didn't even have time to get gloves on. kara was spread out on the bed, in pain, her son ready to be born.

at first sight, my sisters son didn't even appear to be a child. he was a gray sliver of moon, cresting, crowning, coming forth from a pool of deep red. with another push, his head took form and soon the remainder of his body slipped out. a sweet, subtle cry followed.

still attached to my sister, the doctors weren't able to set him on my sister's breast. he had to stay down by her belly. the frantic midwife was still trying to get gloves on, when finally, she did and then allowed my sister's husband to cut the cord.

free from the womb, her son was finally placed on her breasts. crying, sucking, shivering and covered with all sorts of body fluid. out of his previous world and into the fallen one. he's arrived. he's here. and he cried to tell us so. so beautiful. so tiny.

when, at first, my sisters son was placed on the low of her belly, because he had a short cord, my sister wept. she cried out "i just want to see his face." she grieved over him, over not seeing his face, over the past five months of wondering what her son, with a cleft lip and palate, would look like. and now, at this crucial moment, his cord was keeping her from finally embracing her son.

her shoulders shook with each cry she let out. i cried too. i wept right along with her. i looked to her husband, he too had been crying. i rubbed her shoulders. i assured her he was beautiful. i told her he was precious. but she just wanted to see his face.

it was a conflicting moment. we all were emotional. a mother, just given birth, supposed to be full of joy and happiness. yet my sister was sad. she wept. this made me sad and like i said, i wept.

finally barb managed to get her dry gloves over her wet fingers and give my sister's husband a pair of metal sheers. finally, caleb was placed up on my sisters bloated breasts and finally she held him tight. she wrapped her long arms over and across the small of his tiny, seven pound, 10 ounce body- but still wanted to see his face. she finally picked up the tiny bundle of blankets and held him out, then everything was okay. she had seen him and she loved him. she just held him then. everything was alright.

one of the nurses, soon after, scooped the little baby away. she had to do some tests so she placed him on a little bed and put him under a spotlight of sorts. at least there was a heater overhead, to keep the small baby from shivering.

it was at this point that the nurse, who whisked him away, ran her gloved finger along the inside of the baby's palate and discovered that it was there, closed, and fully formed.

i think i saw this first. i saw the nurse swishing her gloved finger back and forth, back and forth. "it's there," cried the nurse. "it's there!" i continued to rub my sisters shoulders that were no longer shaking.

hearing these words from the nurse caused my sister to weep again. this time, there was no trace of grief. no moaning to her tears. they finished with the tests on the little bed under the spotlight and gave the baby back to my sister. she brought her breast to his mouth and he fed. he sucked. he did everything that everyone had told her he wouldn't be able to do. and she wept. he sucked, and she wept.

her shivering and cold little son, drinking in her warm and soothing milk. and we all just stood around that hospital bed, looking at my sister and her newborn son, and stood in the presence of an almighty God.

10 March 2008

valley forge

just out of sight, a woman, possibly a man, labors. just to simply walk. sun rays gloriously pierce the full, pregnant clouds. an eggshell white against its muted lilac backdrop. i'm overwhelmed with beauty. a flock of deer grazes before me in the monochromatic field of dry and withered grass. the color of peanut butter. a fawn skips along from patch to patch, while the older, more sophisticated deer, move at a slower pace. the treetops, like burnt charcoal fingers, extend in every direction. yet, each still reaches towards the fullness of the heavens. tall and slender. a dark, walnut brown. so beautiful. lined next to one another, perfectly, as if only God could have planted them. they stand just like a book of matches. a hiker now passes by in the woods, between the matchbook trees. overhead, the jet engine of a plane is faintly heard. here, in my car, i just sit and window watch.