It's cold and breezy outside; gray, with a noncommital drizzle.
It's after 3 o'clock, and I'm still in my pajamas, my teeth fuzzy from 3 cups of coffee that granted temporary motivation, enough to get me through 4 loads of laundry, a sinkful of dirty dishes, finally putting that bedskirt on the guest bed, reorganizing the spice cabinet, and relining two large drawers and two shelves with cork Contact paper I ordered over six months ago, which had been sitting on the guest bed, next to the packaged bedskirt, mocking me. Fuck you, Contact paper.
Low blood sugar and the resulting fumbling hands finally made me sit down and let my brain click over from the autopilot of reactions the the buzzes and timers of household appliances - open, unload, close, twist, whirr, soap, lid, click, lather, rinse, repeat. It goes back to where it's been for days, where it always is, if I let that piece of my consciousness win, where it's hovered since this morning when I peed on a plastic stick, and the stick said Failure. Fuck you, plastic stick.
So I sat on the couch, staring out at the gray, tears welling. John sits on the ottoman in front of me, and I look at him. My hair is greasy and my face is red and splotchy. I don't say anything.
"Go back to the doctor. You know that's what you need to do."
And I nod, and the tears fall.
But going back means saying things out loud, which makes them more real.
Taking pills and tracking temperatures and making cryptic marks on the calendar, waking up thirty minutes earlier on a weekday so I can get up and pee on a plastic stick and have enough time to process its answer and cry about it in the shower and still go to work and push it all out of my brain for at least 8 hours and pretend like it wasn't a punch in the gut is an investment. If I put that much time and effort into it, every day, every month, every negative result on those stupid fucking plastic sticks just reads as Your Body And Your Time Are Failures.
It is hard enough for me to hold my shit together without throwing hormones into it. At Midnight Mass, instead of listening to the same asshole priest that married us five years ago tell the story of the wonder of Christ's birth, I found myself counting babies, whimpering, sleeping, staring at me - a disproportionate number of them rocked and nursed by girls nearly ten years younger than me. That's a big part of why I can't go to church anymore - it feels like those teenage mothers, the sleepy, long-lashed eyes of their babies, the self-satisfied smiles of doting grandparents, the solemn faces of the saints and the Virgin, are all mocking me. Yeah, I'm pretty angry at God, angry at the girls who get knocked up by accident in the back of a Corolla on clammy vinyl seats, angry at my parents and mother-in-law for letting that hint of jealousy read in their voices as they tell me about So-and-So's precious grandchildren. I'm angry at my house for seeming so quiet and empty. I'm angry at myself for fixating on it all, for letting it get to me, for letting that fear and hurt paralyze me into inaction, because I tell myself that if I don't put my heart into it all again, it will hurt a little less.
But it still aches.