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Archive for the ‘Memories’ 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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Parting is such sweet sorrow, so they say. The only sweetness is the taste of your lips lingering on mine. The remembered touch of your finger tips. The scent of our sex. I hate parting, I hate this loneliness that wasn’t there before. “See ya” you said, I was quiet.

Don’t look back; don’t see me sitting, staring at nothing, don’t feel sorry for me. I’ll miss you and you miss me too and sooner or later I’ll be free if I’m free and and and and… Another beer please.
I want to steel myself to lose this. I want to harden myself, to become the asshole, to not care. If I lose this, when I loose this, it will fuck me up.

She’s so deep in my gut we breathe together.

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My father was a writer. He wrote once.

He created a world where, even now, people live and breath, love and laugh and die. He created the entire universe, all that would sustain life in his world, which, even now I don’t know the name of. Then he stopped, he quit. He put the world away, the fascinating cascade of characters and their stories. All locked up in a drawer now, put away in a filing cabinet along with his tax returns and mortgage papers.

I think about  that world every once in a while. I wonder if Loden or the Tanklen are still around, if they are angry at being forgotten, being shelved, filed away. I still don’t know what happened to the children, nobody does, not even Loden and he’s the one who most needs to know. That great mystery lies hidden behind my birth certificate and the title for the jeep. I asked my father once why he stopped. He  said he felt there was no merit in it; he felt that it wasn’t unique enough or that there were plenty of other stories out there.

I wonder how Loden feels about that; his bones were cast in gold and nobody knows why. Well my Dad does, but he’s keeping it to himself.

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Tumbling and Rumbling
Drinking and Laughing
Skin against Skin
Squeals of Delight
Laughter and
Soft secretive Kisses.

We surprise each other.

But time slips away
and steals me from you.
My situation cannot be avoided;
it’s last call and I must be aboard.

I’m surprised by you,
that the memory of you should be
so compelling.

Soon cold Reality will reclaim me.
But for now I insulate myself
with Memory.

of Laughter and Soft Lips
of Tumbling Dark Hair
of the Taste of Your Kiss
of your Smile
of a few Hours of our Time
Which continue to Haunt me.

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Another airport bar, just after Christmas. A place of random open conversations; people you will never see again from places you’ve never heard of.
“Yeah? You know what I got for Christmas!? Zanex!”
The holidays always see such a rush of people. People who otherwise would not be flying. People who rarely leave their comfortable suburbanite dream.
Here is the real melting pot of our nation; the myriad of stops between “Here” and “There”, between comfortable home and, to some, a once-a-year destination. Across the bar someone laments a year they weren’t “There”, a year they missed,
“I wasn’t there… I don’t know what happened… They all hate me over there now.”
Still, there is something about these places, these never empty yet shortly lived in bar stools, these polished counter tops and harried bartenders. For as new and spotless as these places look there is a sense of use, of purpose.
“…I’ll have a Tubalow.”
“I guess they don’t want our business…”
“What can I get you?”
Well used and seldom unoccupied these places during the holidays. Everyone has their someplace to go, their someplace their from, their somebody waiting for them, their somebody to see; their something to say.
A faintly alluring feminine voice calls me, “Calling all passengers for Delta flight 95, services to LA and Hawaii, your plane is now boarding.”
I sigh, pay my tab and thank the cute bartender.
“Have a nice flight”, the ubiquitous phrase on everyone’s lips here.
I smile my appreciation, gather my things and head down the causeway. I too have my someplace to go. “Someplace”, no real home, no “from” just a destination; no one waiting for me, just a lot of people to see.
“Have a nice flight” indeed; I hate the hollidays.

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I don’t believe in true love. I have loved too many, too strongly to believe in such storybook perfection. Love is pain, as I have come to discover; it is letting go and forgiving, never about forgetting. You never forget. It’s a burning ember in the middle of my chest that can flame to life at the slightest provocation; a movie, a song, a sunset can set it off, bring that twinge to my heart. The choking drowning feeling, the pain of passion burning me up. It’s tears and laughter, joy pain and sorrow all rolled together. Everyone wants it, everyone deserves it at least once; the masochistic fucks.
Sometimes I feel so strongly I can do nothing. I am floored by the simplest of things; sometimes nothing at all. Then I can do nothing but agonize in half-memory and boiling roiling-emotion, buried regret and agonized longing.
It comes from deep wells, buried memories, buried faces and names, places and times that live only in past imaginings. Sometimes I have to laugh or cry out loud. It bubbles out, rushes out from those deep places and demands release. Violence overcomes me, cripples me; the triggered memory, the forgotten place-time rides me, thrashes me and I cry out in the pain of remembering.
The pain of remembering, remembering of ones I’ve loved, of love; the remembering of love.

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