we spent the evening in the kitchen. the conversation of late has been vast and intense: what system of government do we believe in, the difference between the theories of them and their manifestation, how could we get to what we believe in from where we are, should we leave the planet (both as a species and as a couple), the ethical status of terraforming other planets, is the human creature the highlight of the universe or a parasite, what should we put the winter holiday gifts in, how much to spend on that, the nature of economic systems, what sort of work do we want to do, what sort of future do we want to have, how will life change when all of our friends have children, do we stay here all our lives and dig deep or do we off and wander the globe, why is science fiction considered of lesser literary merit when it makes us think so deeply, how much of our lives should we bare to the world, what is the art of our existence, what is the book we are making, what happens to the photographs, why are we here? what is this for? what are we doing?
while we talked, i cooked. there were roasted vegetables for dinner: sweet potatoes, onions, and garlic with rosemary. while that was cooking i crushed herbs for kara’s love cordial, pouring angelica root, anise seed, cardamon, clove, and more into brandy and, by her instructions, shaking it while singing love songs. then there was a batch of roasted green salsa, which involved charring tomatillos, jalapenos, and garlic. lastly, i boiled eggs. lastly, i lifted the cool eggs from the green bowl of cool water, stacked them carefully in a clear bowl in the fridge, and then i went to bed.
in the dream place, i was squatting. there were a lot of other women doing it, too. we were laying eggs. i laid a lot of eggs, several dozen. i could feel them sliding down from me, the walls of me thick and soft, egg after egg slipping easily out into my hands. then the eggs began to come in clumps; two eggs stuck together, four, then lumpybumpy masses of eggs stuck together. as they grew larger and more deformed, i was encouraged by the wandering women who were guiding the pushing women that this was good. that this meant i was getting closer. there wasn’t any pain. it was intense, what was happening, and i was curious and excited, and amazed by the pile growing near me, but it didn’t hurt.
finally i felt a large roundness against my hands and there he was. my son. he wasn’t a newborn and i wondered that other people weren’t more surprised by this. i mean, he was freshly born, but he was big, coherent, he made sense and he was ok. i adored him. i marveled that this was happening to me, who had decided not to mother in this way, but here he was and i loved him and i loved being his mother. oh, how i loved him. i held him to my breast and he nursed. he had lightish colored hair and it stood out all over. i thought he had jim’s hair.
the next morning he was with his papa. i was doing something. there was walking, being lost, finding the place, many rambly adventures. my belly was achy but i was pretty ok. after a time i began to pine for him. where was the boy? where was james? my baby surely must need to nurse, he could not be away from his mama so long.
we met on the stairs. there were many people on the stairs. we were riding our bicycles up the stairs, my boy included, my son. he did not need me, i could see that. he was grown on his second day, he was riding a bicycle up the stairs with the rest of us. he was doing wheelies and saying “aw, ma” and i was aching, aching for the baby i wasn’t going to hold against my breast again. i could see that was complex, would be hard to raise, and i was searching inside myself for the best way to be, the wisest way to be, how to be toward a challenging child, how to love in wisest fashion to help him grow best.
and then i was talking to a curly-haired woman in the crowd, and then we were all being herded off to lunch, and the dream wandered on. i did not see my boy again.