My birthday isn’t until September, but I’ve spent all year thinking about this year. It wasn’t sad in the way twenty three was. It wasn’t destructive the way twenty four was. It was a year of me and my belly.
Christina was finishing her PhD. She spent many nights working late. I don’t recall going on a single date, apart from two concerts. I put on a dress once. I played music loudly for my growing ET. I ran my fingers up and down my belly most of the day.
I juiced things until my guinea pig got sick. I juiced for him until he died and then I couldn’t bring myself to juice any more. I still have a bag of critical care food in my kitchen. I miss him.
I froze on a movie set. I lined my clothes and shoes with heat packs and prayed my ET wouldn’t leave me.
I couldn’t stay in my house most of the time. I was too fatigued to walk far. Except in New Orleans, I walked miles.
We had our baby at home. Between contractions, I’d look up and occasionally catch eyes with Christina, who let me yell into her face for hours. She looked like an angel. My sister brought snacks and my mom brought a camera and the morning our baby spilled out of my body was the most relaxed morning of my life.
Two weeks later I left my house and cried because our street was so beautiful. The sky. The neon signs in Nob Hill. The bottle of Ranch dressing I bought.
My sister had a baby. I had a baby. I held my sister’s hand while she made it through contractions. We visited our dad. His hair is graying. I wish I could buy him a house. I still wish I could help him be content.
Steven is getting older. We don’t laugh at things. Laughing at things reminds me of when him and I would laugh for hours. Maybe it reminds him of that, too. Instead we talk and share stories from our very separate lives. He has some gray hairs. He has glasses. He is taking math classes. I like that eyes stay the same even though the face changes. I’ve known his eyes for fourteen years.
Last night I dreamed that Moonrise Kingdom ended with both kids stranded alone on their own islands. I’ve had a lot of dreams like this.
Late at night I get lonely. Sometimes I take baths. Sometimes I take baths and read. Mostly I stare at screens and floors and piles of fabric.
Twenty five was sober. Twenty five was a backache and a heartache. Twenty five was a one-way spoon. Twenty five was holding hands and getting married and buying a house and growing a baby. Twenty five was Neutral Milk Hotel. Twenty five was Yeah Yeah Yeahs.
Twenty five was walking on my own.