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Archive for the ‘Essay’ Category

“Those first days I felt so helpless.”

I knew right away that my daughter wasn’t like normal babies, she seemed weaker, less alert, less capable. These feelings made me want to help her all the more and increased my feelings of helplessness. What the hell could I do for her?

She was put under an oxygen tent immediately after being born. Her mother wasn’t able to hold her for more than a minute before the nurses whisked her away to her plastic tent. My daughter was in the hospital for two weeks before the doctors told us it was ok for her to come home. Every day was an exercise in super-human patients; Isabelle would take one step forward and one step back, then another step back, and another.

I was at work when they finally told us we could take her home. I didn’t believe it, neither did her mother. We had been waiting so long for her to come home but we didn’t want her to leave too soon. In the hospital she was surrounded by machines that told us exactly what was going on with her heart, nurses were on hand twenty-four-seven, doctors came by in scheduled intervals to check on her; she was in the best of care. What hope did we have of offering her that kind of care at home?

 

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“…Isabelle was born right on time, in the middle of the night, in the middle of winter”

Now winter in San Diego isn’t a real winter so get the images of cold, storm filled nights out of your head. When my fiance told me her water had broke I rolled over in bed and asked if it could wait till morning. Then I asked her to double check and repeated the late hour. She just stared at me till I got up.

The pregnancy was fairly routine, more checkups than a normal pregnancy would have: the doctors wanted to keep an eye on my daughters heart. Lots of reading up on Down Syndrome and what to expect, lots of meeting with my daughters Cardiologist learning what to expect. A lot of talking and expecting, and expecting.

When we  got to the hospital they had to induce labor. What followed was 18 hours of increasingly painful contractions for my fiance. Or at least they seemed to be from my point of view; not much was happening so I kind of nodded off in the middle a bit (never gonna live that one down.) But I was wide awake for the big part. Isabelle’s heart rate started to dip so things became very hectic very quickly.

The doctor attached a giant suction cup to Isabelle’s head and told us that my fiance had about four big pushes before they were going to do a c section. She did it in one. I was terrified. I was frantic, I didn’t know what to do, what to think, what to …expect.

Isabelle was born right on time, in the middle of the night, in the middle of winter. She took my breath away and then she was rushed to the NICU.

Her heart was weak, it had holes in it and couldn’t properly oxygenate her blood so the nurses took her down to the NICU(Natal Intensive Care Unit) and put her under an oxygen tent. I followed along, never letting her out of my sight. I thought to myself that this is what I’m supposed to do, I’m supposed to keep watch on her.

Those first days I felt so helpless.

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It’s been so long since I’ve written anything. My writing chops have become stale, worm-eaten and moldy. Time to dust them off and write something, anything.

So:
The last two years have been uneventfully eventful; by which I mean a lot has happened in my life, a lot of changes, but nothing spectacular or particularly special. I have become a father and then a fiance and someday soon I will be a husband. To be sure that is not the normal route, but it’s not that unusual either. We talked about our relationship when we found out a little one was on the way, we wanted to make sure we were on the same page, we weren’t going to stay together just for the sake of the child. I mean how back-ass-wards would that have been? If we didn’t have any other reason to stay together than a child how horrible an example would we have set for my daughter? Especially as neither one of us mince words or is of a sparkling disposition. So we stuck together, intent on seeing where our relationship was going to go. Then the big news hit us, our daughter was probably going to be born with down syndrome and she would definitely be born with a heart defect that would require open heart surgery before her first birthday.

Yikes. Ouch. Ugh.

Time to bear down and prepare myself for a long life of disappointment, for all my expectations falling short and the fun of having children sucked out parenting. Big breath fella, man up, suck it up and soldier on, she’s still going to be your child, you’ll do what you have to.

Isabelle was born right on time, in the middle of the night, in the middle of winter. 

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Nothing

 

The sun beat down unforgiving on the frozen landscape. Nothing moved nothing breathed it was as if the world was holding its breath, waiting for something spectacular. Small Brown Eyes opened on this world of ice and silence, they opened and blinked, and then they closed. The Small Brown Eyes closed on the world and the world returned itself to void, to nothingness. It was a silent, gentle transition, no cataclysm just…

 

Nothing

 

Two children played in a sandbox building worlds of imagination and sand they had wars and adventures; they brought empires too their knees; turned knaves into heroes and always won the girls. Two ordinary boys on an ordinary day doing ordinary boy things. Two Brown Eyes blinked, Two Brown Eyes closed and Two Ordinary Boys disappeared into… well,

 

Nothing

 

Two people, one bed. The sex was loud messy and every teenagers wet dream. She was gorgeous passionate, he was masculine strong; both virile. She arched her back and cried out in her release her long black hair falling picture perfect about her shoulders and breasts. Wide Brown Eyes watched. Wide Brown Eyes blinked and reluctantly closed and The Two Lovers dimmed and turned to mist to…

 

Nothing

 

Two Brown Eyes looked out on a world that was normal, predictable, boring and real. Two Brown Eyes closed and the world disappeared, and reappeared extraordinary and unbelievable. The world unrolled, folded itself, rearranged and remade itself. Two Brown Eyes watched and orchestrated. Two Brown Eyes, blinked and closed and returned to the ordinary, the boring. The World unrolled, rearranged, remade and disappeared into…

 

Nothing

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I can feel it building, damming up in my head, ready to spill and thrill and destroy and, and, and… I was reading Bukowski today, probably not the best thing to be reading. He has a way of making a good day bad. Not the happiest of people but that is what makes him so compelling I think, here is somebody who has it worse than you, who can make your good day shit and you love him for it. Says something about you doesn’t it?

All these double letters in the middle of these words which are completely meaningless and what was I saying?

It happens sometimes, after a long period of no text, of a blank page and a full mind. It happens that all these thoughts build up and overflow into one-another. The girl I am fucking, the girl I used to fuck, the dog and her bad habits, the job I don’t have or the one I do. Till it becomes one big ball of dog-fuck-girl-job-fuck-etc. In my head and NOTHING makes any God Damned sense. She doesn’t like it when I say that; God Damn. It bothers her, as if God listened to me and would personally damn that which I condemn. As if I haven’t fallen out of His sight.

It’s spilling out of me now, into my fingertips and onto the page. A giant ball of damned thoughts and forgotten essays on the vulgarities of a meaningfully meaningless life. And if that makes any sense to you than you are worse off than I am and better for it too.

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“What happens to poems and texts unwritten?” Good question. I would like to think they continue to live, they continue to flit and float and grow and change until they are pinned down, or rather penned down on page or byte. However I also beleive that even after it is penned a verse or song does not die, it continues to change and grow with each reading. Words are the onlything thing I know of that can continue to live and change and grow and become something even more powerful even after they have been housed and boxed, as long as there are eyes to read and minds to comprehend nothing ever writen can die.

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Man is an exaltation of himself.

At least that is what he should be, what he is… that is something altogether different. What is and what should be are two complete and separate beings. The IDEAL, what we have been taught to revere, to put up on a pedestal and never attain will never be attained. For the very reason which I have just described. It was put out of reach, out of attainability by the fear of the great, by the squirming mass which hates greatness because it reveals its smallness.

We are a foolish race because we constantly fool ourselves into believing the least of ourselves. We apologize for and retreat from our own greatness. And the sad thing, the horrible commentary of society is that we love it. We love being brought low, being debased.

I have lived two roads, two paths. I have travelled in the way of the ‘righteous man’ I have wandered the paths of ‘iniquity’ and everywhere Man is the same. Full of fear. We deny ourselves. We revel in the small, in the mean, in the disgusting. In places of spiritual worship across the world Men compare trial and tribulations, they wear smallness as a badge of accomplishment. In the land of the low, of the unwashed, Men laugh at their dirtiness at their ineffectualness and brag about how this elevates them above the greater man because they belong to an imaginary tapioca called “The Common Man”.

I now have a name for that which I have hated in people for the longest time. I at one point called it selfishness. Foolishly I believed the primping and preening and pretending were selfish. I was wrong. It is selflessness; it is subservience to another, one who you don’t even know, can’t even see: the faceless nameless mass.

We are a great creation, a wonderful being yet we constantly debase ourselves by committing the ultimate treason to self: the abdication of self. There is a quote from a movie I saw, a quote which I held on to because of the haunting quality of what it entailed. “You have lost your muchness.” Humanity has lost its muchness. It’s drive for greatness has become the quest for the “greater good”; it’s search for divinity has become an endless circle of prayers and obeisance to a man on raised platform or placed on cross. To search for yourself in the reflection of the eyes of others is to surrender yourself to the mass. Imagine the mass as a seething pile of maggots tearing at the exposed flesh of the world reducing it all to bloody pulp, to undistinguished piles of sameness. There is no Muchness in Sameness. There is only the ‘norm’ and those who do not belong.

I want my Muchness back.

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