Thank all of you for the well wishes and good thoughts. We've decided to travel home for the funeral--it's Saturday at 2pm--and I'm readying myself for that. For some reason, I really, really, really did not want to go. But I can't not go. I just can't.
In the midst of all these things I occupy myself with--pondering on my feminisms, my dissertation, the death of people I know--I sometimes need a break to just be my normal self-- doing the things in my apartment that won't get done unless I roll up my sleeves or watching TV when I should be writing or even slapping dinner together in a hurried, mad rush. I did all those things in the last couple of days. Sometimes, they aggravated the damned migraine. Sometimes, they made me feel as if I had a life, like I wasn't holding my breath to be finished with the dissertation, at which point my "real" life could begin.
So, here I reconstruct a Tuesday night conversation that is typical of the part of my life not centered around writing and thinking analytically, but around things I've learned from living and being a mom and friend. I find a lot of comfort in that sometimes.
Before I can get much past, "Hello," BF Louisiana, announces breathlessly, "The baby hasn't moved today. My hubby says I'm thinking too hard but I'm worried."
"Not at all? You know sometimes you get so used to it and you don't notice."
"No, usually he acts a fool. And I haven't felt anything."
"Okay. Did you drink some orange juice?"
"Orange juice?" (She sounds like she thinks I'm crazy)
"Mm-hmm. I don't know why, but they always told me to drink orange juice when it felt like the kid wasn't moving."
The kid chimes in, "Really?"
"Get out of grown folk's conversation," I snap. I hear her digging through the refrigerator.
"I don't have orange juice. I have some Sunny Delight. Will that work?"
At this point, I'm second-guessing myself. So I holler for my sister.
"What, girl?" Sis says.
"Remember when they used to tell us to drink orange juice when the baby didn't move?"
"I didn't have that problem. But I remember they told you to drink orange juice. And lay on your side?"
"How the hell do I know? Which preggie is it?"
"The one in Louisiana!" I turn back to the phone, "Drink some orange juice and lay on your side. That's what they told me."
"And did I move?" the kid asks. I give him my, you gon' get it look, then tell him, "You alive, ain't you?"
"He nosy," BF LA says. "I'm gon' drink this, okay?"
"Ok. And lay down. And call me back."
She called me back in less than an hour. "Girl, thank you. He is flipping and jumping and acting crazy."
"What the hell is it about orange juice?"
"I don't know." Then I hear her hubby say, "Can y'all take y'all paranoid asses to bed now?"
"Shut up!" she says.
Then, she reassures me, "Everything is normal now."
Normal, sometimes, is quite nice.