but my clock is ticking.
and like every other woman i worry that my alarm will go but i'll have hit snooze. i'll miss the bus and my body will decide without me whether i can or can not conceive.
there's a misconception. how apt a phrase. there's a misconception that as soon as you decide upon this course. this baby path. this road to familyness. that you'll be set upon by the stork within hours. that is is not a choice of when you bear the fruit. but how often.
we're bombarded with images of young mothers. too young. too many. throwing away their progeny. of women whose fertility is so strong it defies modern medicines. of women who can as much contain the virility of their bodies as mortals can capture and contain the beams of the moon.
and there are those of us who need to work a little harder. bear the insult of pokes and prods under bright lights with no hint of softness or romance. where our femininity is called up front for judgment. the female mystery laid bare and found wanting.
we go through the motions of normal life. smiling at those fortunate to have a bundle of joy. secretly wishing it was us. we fear our inner monologue is overheard. and our eyes betray our guilt.
we envy a woman in the shop. her child a beacon of our imagined failure. we wander the aisle as though shopping. stalking the lanes for our own image in miniature. we entertain the idea of lifting the squirming smiling creature from her trolley and wandering away with our purchase.
but we'd be caught of course. locked away for 20 years for child napping. no hope for parole because we are guilty. not just for stealing. but of being barren.
our husband comes to visit. the conjugal visits wither and diminish. after all he was only along for the ride. he wasn't ready for the pitter patter of little feet anyway. besides, his new girl is younger and fertile in the event he change his mind in regard to the status of his family minded ways.
"it's okay" we think, as we sign on the dotted line. that nice butch lady in the corner knows someone who can get us a baby once we get out and start a new life together.
before we know it, we've glazed over in the shop. spent 20 years in 20 seconds. and the young mother is nervously watching. seeking the sick desperation in our eyes as we gaze at her child.
so she pushes off from her perch next to the canned goods. in an act of recovery we continue with our line of sight recently vacated by the wide eyed babe. we reach forward and claim a tin of peaches. the young mother looks back. guilt filling her face. as she realizes she has blocked the store with her fertility.
and there it is.
the choking of aisles by both the barren and the burdened.
a standoff between wombs.
but i'm not desperate.