Tuesday, November 28, 2000

Jealous and Jealous again

I have a friend who lives in a nearby town and goes to school here with me. She has been in my classes since freshman year. This year, she came back from summer break three months pregnant. She sat next to me and we’ve whispered back and forth all semester about the baby and how her life is different as a single mom and how exciting that I thought it was to be able to have children at so young an age. I constantly told her, straight faced and completely honestly, that I was jealous and that I couldn’t wait to have children of my own. The poor girl probably weighs a hundred and ten pounds normally, so for her the pregnancy meant a sort of metamorphosis. I’m not sure women understand this, but I’m positive that men do. Pregnant women have a very strange sort of aura around themselves. It’s almost as if they glow with some sort of inner life. It’s difficult to explain, but it hearkens back to a simpler time when women would have children when they were young and in the prime of their physical lives. I have to admit that I feel jealous of my forebears. I think it’s a detriment that I couldn’t live in simpler times when women ALL glowed like that and to see that beautiful life within women was common. These days, career women hide their pregnancies behind carefully-construed attitudes and maternity leave from the workplace. They hide in their houses and conceal their glow from the community as if it’s something to be ashamed of. And even when women do get pregnant these days, they usually wait until they’re halfway through their twenties to do it. At that point, their bodies and the natural beauty of their youth is already in decline, and they’ll never have the same glow as my friend has.

This morning, the seat next to me was empty, and my professor told me that she had called before class and was beginning contractions. I smiled and completely zoned out for the rest of the class, trying to envision what it must be like to be her this morning. Many emotions went through my head, but in the end I couldn’t help but feel just a little jealous. On the one hand, today will change her life forever, today will mean that she is bound to another person for the rest of her life. But on the other hand, today my friend gets to experience something that is the very essence of what humans are. Something that every living species on the planet gets to experience on some level. Sadly, something that I will never have the opportunity to experience firsthand. Today, she gets to participate in a cycle of life that extends infinitely into the past and future. Today, she is more alive than I have ever been, and she will know more about life than I ever will. I am jealous, but it is jealousy with a good heart. I wish only the best for my friend and I hope that she and her child have every opportunity to experience the bond that they share.

For some of us, the unlucky, or simply the undeserving, these are the Dying Days. These are the days when we feel our youth, our creativity, our passion, and our glow of life fading away. Some of us see the world as an end. We look out into our communities and our nation and all we see is a vast wasteland of people who are living their lives like animatronic statues. We are furtive, we are fearful, and we are without innocence. We hide our lack of sanctity within ourselves and within our pompous, arrogant society. We trade our connection with life itself for faceless global communication over metal and silicon. But for some of us, not me and probably not any of the disillusioned souls that haunt the internet, for a lucky few, these are the Living Days. Today, tomorrow, and as far as the future stretches, are days full of life for these people. Life is never easy, but it IS life. For those of us who live the Dying Days, it is life that we don’t have. Not a single one of us knows life like my friend knew it this morning.

Dear God,
Please protect this mother and child
Guide them safely through life
And let never a storm assail their tiny ship.
Amen

Tuesday, November 14, 2000

Birthday 2000

Today:

Woke up too late to eat breakfast before class.
Ran out of good shampoo, had to use sampler.
Made it to class five minutes late, professor made snide remark.
Tried valiantly to stay awake through Quantitative Sociology.
Failed.
Made it to breakfast in time, but there were no English muffins to go with my eggs.
Skipped lunch in an effort to try to sleep off lingering headache.
Failed.
Checked mail to find no cards, no letters, no presents, no stuff that I ordered weeks ago, or even junk mail. Nothing.
Went to lab and irradiated a helpless small mammal and then proceeded to gas him to death and disembowel him while his heart still beat.
Ate dinner at Dana, all the good Thanksgiving food was picked over.
Met nice cute single girl at Dana.
Turned ankle accidentally, resulting in a sprain.
Attempted to ask the aforementioned girl to dinner at Pheobe’s.
Was shot down summarily, and without preamble.
Skipped bio class to nurse sprained ankle.
Was unable to sleep because of studying for physics test.

Why are my birthdays always like this?