Friday, May 14, 2010

Like the Corners of My Mind

November 2002.
Driving home.
Song playing:

Two days, past 18
He was waiting for the bus in his army greens
Sat down in a booth, cafe there,
gave his order to a girl with a bow in her hair.
He's a little shy so she gives him a smile
And he said would you mind sittin' down for awhile
And talking to me
I'm feeling a little low.
She said I'm off in an hour and I know where we can go.

[Note: I am crying.]

So they went down and
They sat on the pier he said
I bet you got a boyfriend but I don't care
I got no one to send a letter to.
Would you mind if I sent one back here to you?

[Note: tears and snot steadily falling down my face and soaking my blouse.]

I cried, never gonna hold the hand of another guy
Too young, for him they told her, waitin' for the love of a traveling soldier
Our love will never end
Waitin' for the solider to come back again
Never more to be alone
When the letter said, the soldier's coming home.

So the letters came from an Army camp
In California then Vietnam
They told her of his heart, might be love
And all of the things he was so scared of.
He said when it gets kinda rough over here
I think of that day sittin' down by the pier
And I close my eyes and see your pretty smile
Don't worry but I won't be able to write for awhile...

One Friday night at the football game
The Lord's Prayer said and the anthem sang
A man said Folks won't you bow your heads
For a list of local Vietnam dead.

[Note: Body shaking sobs have taken over my body.]

Crying all alone, under the stands
Was a piccolo player from the marching band
And one name read but nobody really cared.
But a pretty little girl with a bow in her hair.

[Note: I can barely see the road now for my heaving sorrow.]

The Dixie Chick's poignant, haunting tale of a young Vietnam solider willed its way into my psyche. It accompanied my sobs. I cried because of the inequity of death, I cried for the traveling soldier's mother and the grief that surely encompassed her heart. I cried for all mothers who'd ever experienced the death of a child.

Then, a random thought throttled through my disdain:

That morning, at work, I drank V8. I walked to refrigerator stocked with every imaginable drink and I chose to slam a V8. Twice.

I hate V8.

So, I'm sobbing listening to the Dixie Chick's Travelin' Soldier and drinking multiple V8's with vigor.
Hormones snapped from gloom to joy.

I called Hubby.

Before he could eek out a Hello, I blurted, "I might be pregnant!"


"Really?!?!?!", he said.

"YES! I'm drinking V8 and sobbing!!!" (Because he's a smart man, Hubby took my assessment at face value and did not question my logic.)

Detour: Stopped at the store for pregnancy tests. I felt so proud buying them, so aligned with the universe. I didn't realize I had dark black mascara tracks lining my face from my moments-earlier bawling session.

Home: I ran to the bathroom with the crinkly plastic sack (with nary a hello to Hubby). I took the test. (Aside: it'd really be nice if this test could be taken differently...really, wouldn't it be nice to NOT have to pee on a stick and watch the urine-soaked stick and hang out in the bathroom right before you find out you're going to be a mother?).

I wrapped everything up and sat on the toilet lid. The stick sat between my feet. I stared at it.

At the destiny-defining, urine-soaked stick.

I desperately coaxed air into my shallow lungs.


Sweet! The results.
Shit! I have no idea what two lines mean. I study the instructions again and learn that

Two lines = PREGNANT.

"George!!!" I screamed.

"WHAT???" he peeled in, thinking I'd fallen and cracked open my head.

"I'm pregnant."

May 2010.
Driving home.
Song playing:

Dixie Chicks Travelin' Soldier.

Detour: November evening, 2002. I travel right back to that night and remember my fierce certainty that I was going to be a mother and that, at that very moment, a microscopic life formed inside me. That life became Abby, my willful, beautiful, intelligent, passionate daughter. The music tied together past, present and a hopeful future. Notes, someone's thoughts, passions and words, and my misty, water-colored memories, all encapsulated in a song.

(This is my Memory post, part of Momalom's great FiveforTen write-a-thon. Click here or the button on the side bar to learn more.)


Lindsey said...

Love this song. Love this memory! And I can so relate to the way a single song can thrust you so completely back into the past.

Justine said...

That song is heartbreaking. Reminds me of George Michael's Mother's Pride. Same gist.

Songs take me back like none other. It's wonderful that you can pinpoint the exact moment that you knew you were going to be a mother through this song.

C (Kid Things) said...

Beautiful, absolutely beautiful. Sometimes we just know, don't we?

Launa said...

You are SO RIGHT about the pee on a stick. And the V8!

I realized I was pregnant when I came home and insisted on making pasta with mustard greens. Never before, never since.

Great post.

Amber said...

That song is a favorite of mine.

You sure had your intuition sewn on right!! : ) (And what a cool story to tell your little Abby.)

Sarah said...

Songs can be some of the most memory-invoking moments for me. The tune starts up and I am catapulted back to a time and a place, or, like you, to more than one. I absolutely adore that you remember that moment in time so vividly. That the melody is entwined with your emotional rollercoaster of realizing that you are to become a mother.

This post is just beautiful. Your writing so poignant, and so real. Bravo!