Pregnant!

Published on October 18th, 2013 | by Jenny Heineman

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Jenny Heineman on The Nasty, Hideous, Dark, Terrifying, Fucking Beautiful Stuff of an Entire Universe

1. Celebrations from below come into the open window. Wild animals, drunk with parental apathy, toss dried leaves at the door and then rearrange my Mexican candles. In the mirror at the side of the bed are two hairy legs, one greasy head of hair, and a bloated tummy in XL pink cotton. I have an emergency jar of peanut butter by the constellation lamp. Its companion, the spoon, is encrusted in thin layers of days old spread.

lamp

2. Giggling, weeping, holding, splashing in the neighborhood pool where the grey haired woman complains to her friends about her other friends. Names, marriage, the implications and politics. He proposes at the mall while we wait for Lens Crafters to make his one-hour glasses.

3. “Sometimes going forward means standing still.”

“Does this mean you’re engaged, then?”

“Are you prepared to be a single mother?”

“The only love that’s real is the kind between a mother and her child.”

4. The first time we had sex, I slipped on a silky thing and nearly fell. You jumped out of bed in order to make sure I was OK. (It was the first time I’d seen you naked.)

5. Brazenness and care and love deep in a black hole where gravity stops making sense, kindness and warmth wrapped in tentative strangeness, fear, the future, hopes and dreams of particularities and made-up identities, my own fear expressed as defensiveness. A shotgun wedding, an inappropriately-aged mate, all those times I decried motherhood and mothers themselves, my belief that I am predisposed to treat my offspring poorly, and so on.

Clarity. A sense of connection. A beauty that surpasses all other beautiful things but is somehow equal to and because of those things.

6. My mother cannot congratulate me because she’s broken her toe and is much too depressed from lack of exercise to call.

7. Hormones tug at my quarreling guts. In between grading papers, lecturing, and daydreaming of fat babies, I gag on puke and sob when I puke alone. Sometimes I offer apologies to the air and imagine there is someone next to me to apologize to.

He is alone, too, on a futon in a warehouse with wide windows in the fall. Bats fly above the wine drinkers on the cobblestone below him. When he says he and his ex-wife are friends, I imagine him leaving me. The grace and femininity of a classically trained whatever will spellbind him and I’ll eventually have to say, “Olive, tell your father I said I don’t want you watching R rated movies.”

The fall comes and goes. My hair sticks to the back of my head. A crust forms over the inner lining of my eyeball and I haven’t had an orgasm in months. The only attractive smell is that of my geriatric poodle. I have some kind of infection. I can’t stand the taste of my own mouth.

geripoodle

8. It is entirely possible to be a bad mother. Furthermore, to the horror of us both, I suggested that our having sex was actually like a kind of  threesome.

9. I only ever abstractly considered children and even then I was usually drunk and on drugs and feeling that kind of loneliness unique to over-indulgence. And then I met him for the second time. I realized, then, that love isn’t at all difficult. Relationships surely are, but love itself— that thing we want to understand conjecturally—is actually molecular. It just happens.

I knew I was pregnant when I looked out the window as a completely different person. I remember, at that moment, feeling distinctly present. I wasn’t becoming a particular person. I was just a person, right now.

10. I’ve never been so clear about the interconnectedness of life. I also don’t necessarily believe life is hard. However, if someone asked what I’d like most to do in this world, I’m not convinced my answer would be, definitively, “To become a mother,” so maybe that means I make my own life hard. But in any case, now I’m slower: a little mouse moving through the big world of empty space. Crumbs and naps and fur. Not as an object or as a subject, just as a tiny, insignificant piece of a noun. Barely a thing. A thing just existing in front of this big window.

apt copy

11. Discoveries, now, are richer but I’m not dogmatic about them anymore. My critique of capitalism used to be dogmatic. I’m still pointed, just not as angry. You can’t understand what I mean until you read Pregnancy and Newborn, which promises to make us all “Look Like a Baby Shower Goddess!” Everything is more absurd than it is purposefully nasty.

I’d like to write a pregnancy article titled, The Nasty, Hideous, Dark, Terrifying, Fucking Beautiful Stuff of an Entire Universe.

12. I can smell the neighborhood trash bin from inside my apartment.

13. Celebrations end with drunken farewells and fussy babes. Mothers rock their little ones and men stumble into comforting beds. I wonder if there’s a holiday tomorrow I don’t know about.

14. How much could I possibly know about you? And does it matter? I was once a person and now I am a different person entirely. You are another, new person, too. These changes happen so quickly, from one millisecond to the next; our skin replaces itself with such great effort and at such great speed, it’s difficult to pinpoint one epoch from another.

I remember when I found porn you’d been looking at. Thin, Miss America kinds of women. The kinds of women I’d likely dote on in my fantasies, too, though significantly different, physically, from any woman I’ve ever been with. But in that instant, I was a person who felt, like, unworthy.

15. At my grandmother’s funeral, people wore the kinds of shoes you keep pressed inside shoeboxes until someone dies. The women in my family remarked, later, that the funeral service had been “nice” and their husbands, fingering stacks of bills next to prints of ducks, said, “Mmm-hmm.” My mother, then, said “Hello” to me for the first time in almost a decade.

16. Cool air in the desert smells like an early morning all of the time. It feels like ending a shift at some strip club and walking barefoot to the car on frosty concrete with money to pay the rent and some leftover.

17. Everything is alive and vibrant.

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About the Author

Jenny Heineman

Jenny lives in Las Vegas and Omaha with her geriatric poodle and lovely partner. She’s a doctoral student in sociology and a kind-of-former sex worker. She (very) infrequently blogs for Sheri’s Ranch, a brothel in Nevada, and has written for Tits and Sass, Nerve, and some academic journals here and there. She’s also a preggo lady who is very much looking forward to her kid’s angsty teenage years.



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