Tuesday, October 11

Palindrome, Baby

Of all the guesses and estimations one conjures up at night, I was damn-near certain she was a mother by now. ‘I bet she has a kid.’ I wrote her, asking how she was. Our last catch-up – a brief exchange over a few e-mails – was eighteen months ago, while I was in Florida, recovering from a failed relationship. I wrote to her not out of any romantic interest, but a genuine thought for how she was getting on in life.
Victoria is Hannah and Hannah was Victoria. Even now, nine years later, walking along its elegant and expensive streets, Hannah is remembered to me.
She was the first, in my young adult life, to captivate and ensnare me. We met and became good friends. She was beautiful and charming to be around and her hair was magnificent blowing in the wind. She dropped her hat as she crossed the road; her hair blew magnificently in the wind as she stopped to pick it up; her hair blowing in the wind, on fire. In a bar down Chelsea, the walls all royal racing green, we said good-by and my nose swum in the scent of her hair. That was a long time ago.
After she got back to America she cut all her hair off and bleached it blonde. Her strong jaw propped the style up wonderfully and she was magnificent still, so good; different, magnificent still, but so good. Then, soon after, she met a young man. He looked a good young man, and I could not fault her taste in men.
The rest is history, and their baby the future.
I did not mind terribly, needing only a year or so to recover from such an affection. Such are my cold sensibilities! Besides, it was good that she was happy and in love.
And now she is a mother.
Mother is a strange title because it is not something I will ever understand. No being ever emerged from me, even the simplest of poems causes me to struggle and wince. I lack the organs to perform such a feat. I am dumb, my organs reply as such.
I don’t believe there is anything greater in the world than a good mother.
When another former love interest or friend becomes a parent, I am struck – across the face and anywhere else you care to name – with the absolute certainty that life is passing. No longer does the misery of school and university pervade my depression, but, no, it is time for life and achievement, family, a doctor with a quaint surgery that smells of varnished wood. I challenge my existence and what I am doing with it, a waste of time and carbon it may be, but do I want all that? As an aside, a child of my own is a disturbing thought, unsettling and foreign. What do these people have figured out that I do not?
I am moved, even in this late hour – forgive me – by the thought of a child addressing someone as mum whom, not a decade ago, I addressed as a peer, both of us unconsciously believing we would never age, as is the delight of youth! We were just two young people holding hands.
It is strange how everything changes.
I only wanted to write it down for a moment. It is just a series of thoughts.

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