Somewhere deep in my grouchy, little soul, I applaud this practice. We ought to see each other. See each other. Love each other.
But at 7AM, I can barely stand myself much less anyone else.
The reassembling process has become more efficient with time but not really any easier.
Emerge from the primordial ooze of sleep.
Remember that I am a wife.
Remember that I am a mother.
Is the baby breathing?!?
Yes, the baby is breathing.
Not a baby anymore either. That's good.
The other baby.
Oh my god! One of the babies died!
My daughter died.
And existence is just a happy accident anyway.
In fact, compared to the vast sweep of time and space, my entire lifetime is just a blink.
And if I take the long view--the geological time view--we will be apart for hardly any time at all.
Snooze a couple more times.
Wade back into the ooze of wakeful human-ness.
Remember all of those other things that are supposed to be important...
Why can't Mr. Eye Contact realize that I've assimilated the entire human experience already this morning? I've swept aside our differences. I've demoted my daughter and placed her unbearably short life back in its place as not-the-worst-thing-that-has-ever-happened-to-anyone-ever-ever-ever.
Even though I think he's being a presumptuous shitbird, I celebrate Mr. Eye Contact. His continued existence, our continued joint existence, is a glorious thing. Whatever struggles he may be having right now are important to me. But I haven't even had coffee yet.
The people at the coffee stand don't force me to look at them.
I read an article a couple of weeks ago about bird songs. Apparently birds in urban settings tend to sing in a different register than their rural brethren in order to be heard over traffic and the general bustle of city life. I'm assuming this is also why Philadelphians (including yrs trly) sound like we're trying to shatter glass or convene a pod of helper dolphins when we speak to each other.
The implications are pretty heavy for birds. Birdsong is a learned behavior that has everything to do with mating. The researchers who supplied the source material for the article speculate that the changes in songs could impact mating choice so drastically that it could lead to speciation. I'd put an exclamation point at the end of that sentence but it would be way too nerdy.
On the human side of things it also seems akin to working out internal noise. Think of all of the stereotypes and assumptions that you have to wade through to even begin to have a real conversation with another person. What would it be like if we could just understand each other or if we had the tools to at least try? Is Mr. Eye Contact an oppressive dick or is he onto something?
My internal voice barks orders at me all day long. Everybody has problems! Nothing is guaranteed! No one said it would be easy! Vada a bordo!
I robot my way through it. Take shower. Walk dog. Catch train. Get paycheck. Assure that C will not have to worry about you. Make it as easy as you can for her. Fix it.
So many paths up the mountain and this is the one that made the most sense?
Entrust her daily care and nurturing to someone else.
She'll be happy when college is paid and we are able to take awesome vacations. Someday she won't even notice that her sister is gone. Soon she'll stop asking when I'm going to grow another baby. Next Christmas she won't look for a new sister under the tree.
The cashier thinks that I don't look at him because I believe he isn't worthy of my time. If I wasn't in such a goddamn hurry with trying to fix the unfixable, we could grab coffee and and I could share many opinions about worthiness.
But I don't have time and he's an asshat for making me think about all of this shit before coffee.
Buy gum anyway.
Look for a different newsstand.