Saturday, December 10, 2011

Halloween, Phantoms and a Lucky Bitch

The next week was Halloween. I was looking forward to it all month but hadn’t saved enough money to go to Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios, which I had attended every year since 2007.

I was seriously depressed about it. Not only was my life being disrupted by my incredibly bad luck, but my rituals too. Abe claimed I was being spoiled about it, that my upset over the holidays was childish. Those holidays were the only thing seeing me through a dark time, and to see them crumble the day of made me angry and even more resentful.

Dora was doing better since Danny’s death. She seemed to be doing even better than me.

When she came back to work at Doggie Daycare, she walked on the playground and was immediately surrounded by all the dogs in a large, sacred cluster. It was supernatural. She said, “Look . . . they know. They know.”

Without my car and without any money, I was feeling helpless. Dora never had a car and seemingly never had much money, so she seemed less bothered by things and always tried to keep optimistic.

She would say things like, “There was a family of coyotes on the mountain across from our windows. It was beautifuuuuul!”

Or, “Riding the bus in to work was like taking a Halloween tour, all the autumn decorations were gorgeous!”

She sold me on the place on Sylmar and still continued to sell me on it despite my growing disgust for the area.

Riding the bus into work was NOT like a Halloween tour with gorgeous autumn decorations, it was a 3-hour headache that brought me into work a little late with motion sickness.

And Sylmar, with all its untethered beauty, was a haven for meth addicts and people who want to be forgotten.

We would be walking the dogs, and a bloated, middle aged woman came up to us and started blathering, “Oh Gosh, I like dogs, but your dogs look scary. I am sure they are nice, are they nice? I was scared last night because there was a black window in my shower and then my kids had drama at 3am. Yeah . . . had to call the police, but I still have to get up and do my morning routine. You said your dogs were nice, right?”

When we broke off of the path, leaving Ms. Morning Madness and all her ranting behind, Abe turned to me and said, “Meth.”

Meth. A fucking ugly word. One of the few drugs I have never experimented with because absolutely nothing about it looks appealing. I saw a documentary on it once from the Discovery Channel and never really thought about it again. Now it was everywhere around me.

I wouldn’t know it if I saw it or smelled it, but I see it turning the people around me into walking corpses. I have to get the fuck out of Sylmar.

Did I mention there isn’t a decent coffee shop within 6 miles of my place either? The place had me feeling low class. There was dirt, mud, a 7Eleven and taco trucks.  People around me don’t have the care to correct their spelling or speak clearly. Buried in it all made me doubly depressed.

Abe agreed to take Dora, me and Trent to the West Hollywood Halloween Parade.

Trent met Abe for the first time a couple weeks prior.

Trent said to me later, “He has big eyes.”

Me, “He said you have a big mouth. Together you could make Mick Jagger.”

Now, a few days before Halloween, Trent, my gay boyfriend, was regressing back on drugs. I brought Abe over to meet Kent; my gay boyfriend’s boyfriend.

Later, in Kent’s studio apartment, we had a couple lines of coke, which was the first I had since the wake. It was incredibly sexy to see Abe do it. I don’t know why coke was so sexy to watch- maybe because it seems completely unlike Abe to try it.

Drug addicts will call this a “relapse” but there is one thing that distinguishes me from the squalor around me; self control.

Abe and Kent fell into a rather serious conversation about how to actually levitate a flat plane surface using crystals. Kent is a science teacher for a High School, so watching the two explore ideas was sweet at first, then I suddenly felt jealous. Trent and I, usually the ones leading conversation, looked at each other and said, “So, what about Jane Austen . . .”

Kent pulled me aside and said, “I like this one. He is cuter and nicer than the other one. Try to keep him.”

I knew then that Trent was at the precipice of repeating his cyclical nightmare. He would fall soon. I still partook of his drugs. I guess that makes me a little disgusted with myself. I knew what was ahead of him, but still enjoyed the debauchery before it tore him apart.

Now, on Halloween night, Trent was annoyed that we showed up so late to go to the parade. Dora and I were closing crew for Doggie Daycare.

His eyes were black from chemicals and dramatic eye liner. As we drove down Santa Monica Blvd at midnight, we saw people walking out of West Hollywood like spray from a wave. People of every size and color dressed up in odd costumes.

Abe, “Is that a black man in a dress?”

Me, “Yes, he is Little Orphan Annie.”

We got closer and closer to the eye of the storm, and then pulled over to buy alcohol from a 7Eleven instead of waiting in line for a bar. For the 5 minutes we were separated, I could see Trent was getting even more agitated.

We stashed the alcohol in the car and walked out into the crowd.

We saw Tron costumes, and amoebas, a large penis . . . yeah the parade was over, but the costumes were amazing.
Men started approaching Abe, first for a cigarette (the one out of his mouth) then the Devil (or a topless gay men dressed as the devil) cornered him on the street. Abe turned and offered him a cigarette. He didn’t understand he was being propositioned.

I came in, pressed my cheek against his and turned him away saying, “MINE!” to the Devil.

Abe said, “When I walk backwards, I walk into the the Devil. Remember that.”

Trent was pissed the bars would be closed in 45 minutes. He thought Abe was walking away from him. His temper tantrum was grating over all our moods.

Dora said she forgot her ID and we had to walk back to the car. As we turned, she told me she was lying just to end the night and the argument.

I turned and said, “She has her ID, are we going to try to go to a bar or does everyone just want to go home?”

Trent threw his hands in the air, “What the hell? She has her ID.”

Dora, “We can still get into a bar if that’s what you want to do.”

Trent, “Listen, little girl, the lines are a half an hour to get in. The bars stop serving at 1:45am. What do you know about bars in all your experience?”

I turned away. I knew Trent had claws. I have seen them turn on other people, never me.

Halloween is my night, my favorite night. Already, Danny’s death had me turned off to horror movies this year, I didn’t want to be turned off to the whole night.

I stepped away from Trent and Dora as I saw her break down in tears. I felt like the Chaperon. The group needed a leader to make a decision, but I was sick of being a parent- a parent to Dora, a guidance counselor to Abe and a sponsor to Trent.

So I threw my hands in the air and said, “Let’s go back to the car so you can drink your alcohol.”

I walked ahead of everyone, pissed. What a bunch of bullshit! Much ado about nothing! The ONE night I wanted to have fun, and petty bullshit was going to blacken the few minutes left.

We stopped by the car and I had a cigarette.

Trent and Dora drank by the trunk, I just wanted to be away from them.

Abe came and sat on his front bumper and calmly smoked with me.

I said, “I hate this bullshit, what am I? Their mom? I can’t have a good time ever . . .”

Abe leaned forward, and quietly blew out smoke.

I said, “How can I have a bad time around you?”

He smiled.

Trent and Dora were talking to a white, muscular, attractive man in Native American garb unlocking his bicycle with a much skinnier, fair, blond boy who looked like he was dressed as an arsenic victim from 1928.

The Blond pointed at Abe and asked Trent, “Is that your boyfriend, over there?”

I said, “No. He is mine.” I am sick of these queers swarming around my boy.

The Blond said, “Oh, the sulking girl speaks!”

I smiled.

Trent and the Blond were aggressively trying to get the hot Indian boy’s attention. Trent does so by verbally abusing men he desires. So he called him Pocahontas. Unfortunately, Pocahontas was taken with Abe and kept leaning in and getting close to him.

Abe is a germaphobe and believes people can wipe their energy on you. He is an odd duck, but he might have something.

Abe stumbled backwards at the strange Indian’s touch, and I explained that Abe likes to keep his space and energy clean.

Pocahontas said, ‘Well, why can’t he say that? Is that true?”

Abe said, “Yeah,” wiping imaginary grit off his arms and chest.

Abe was curious about the lifestyle, being a sheltered Jewish boy from Orange County, he hadn’t really encountered many flamboyant homosexuals. So he comfortably launched questions at the Indian who said he enjoyed having sex with both men and women, but found women harder to deal with emotionally.

He said, “Women really don’t like you after you tell them you have had sex with a man. Its like a deal breaker. (turns to me) Am I right?”

I said, “I can see that, because of the transmission of disease. Would it be a deal breaker for me? I think so, just because of disease.”

Pocahontas championed his hand in the air to Abe like he just made some amazing point, “See!” Men are simpler.

Meanwhile, Dora and Trent were talking to the Blond who said, unbeknownst to us, he had a knife and would cut Trent, then said he was just kidding. They took a step back. He continued to say he was going to follow the Indian home and cut his bicycle tires with his knife.

The hot Indian was very chilly, seeing as it was 2am now, and bid us adieu. We had a pleasant, sophisticated exchange with him, despite him shivering topless in a loin cloth. He took a step back and then thoughtfully said, “I think you two . . . never mind, I am not going to say it.”

I said, “No, please say it. I live for this shit.”

He said, “You two make a beautiful couple. You are what every American wants to be.”

I made a sound like a buzzer, “EHHH! Nevermind!”

He said, “You don’t want to be what every American wants?”

I said, “I want to reinvent what America wants.”

Trent started wrapping his tentacles around Pocahontas, inviting him out some time or propositioning him in some sly manner. When Pocahontas left an opened ended expression, Trent threw up his hand and said, ‘Nevermind. Goodbye. BYE!”

Confused, sweet, Pocahontas walked off with his bike and the Blond with the knife. I hope he got home ok. I would have told him about the knife had I known. :-/

Abe asked what that last bit was about.

Trent said, “I like getting them to want me so I can just shut them out.”

Abe said, “Then what’s the point of getting them to want you?”

I said, “Its a power exchange. I understand it but I don’t like it.”

Trent said, “Exactly, I reel them in until they agree so I can be the one to reject them.”

Abe said, “Sounds like backward nonsense.”

Then Trent turned to me and said, “Just like that time we hung out and did x. Remember? I did you.”

I said, “You didn’t do me.”

Trent said, “Yes I did, I DID you.”

I crumpled my eye brows, trying to get in on the joke and said, “What are you talking about?”

Abe took a step back and said, “Are you trying to create trouble?”

He and Trent were face to face in a heavy second of silence.

Dora said, “WHOAAAAA!” She always has to punctuate drama with a sound effect.

I said, “Stop this now. Nothing happened. Come on!”

I grabbed Abe and ushered him to his side of the car and we all climbed in.

Trent said, “Well that was fun.”

Abe said, “Was that guy really dressed as Pocahontas?”

***

We took Trent home. He got out of the car and said, “Sorry. Sorry for everything.”

I offered a tense nod. Fucking with Abe was bothersome. You see, Abe is innocent in a way no one else is.

I invited Trent to go out to eat Pho noodles with us, he waved his hands and laughed, “Uh, no! Thanks.”

The Darkness had a hold of him. I could barely even recognize my friend.

When we went out to Pho noodles, Dora insisted on being absorbed with her phone the entire time which was rather rude. I felt like we had our teenage daughter at the table but I had no right to spank her.

Abe and I spoke over nothing serious.

Abe, “Try these spices. MMMM! This is good. No, don’t eat too much of this! Too much spice will hurt your stomach. Here, let me help you out with that.”

He took a spoonful or two of my soup, “Mmmm!”

Dora looked up from her phone and smiled, “I don’t know, Abe, I think you just wanted a taste of her noodles.”

I know she wanted to prove a point that she was unhappy I was falling back in love right in front of her. However, there have been many times that all of us have had to share company with a couple in love just after a broken heart. We endure it because someone else’s love is better than no love at all.

The next day, I got a text from Trent stating  “I am done with most of you.”

My tolerance for stubbornness and petty bullshit was at an all time low a) because I was too busy sorting out some major life and death shit b) I work with dogs all day and my tolerance for dealing with people is at an all time low.

I decided to take a break from acting because I didn’t have a car, I didn’t have any money, and my mind was all over the place.

Later Abe would say he thought my car broke down to keep me grounded and force me to deal with the situation at hand without running away.

At home, Dora would have a temper tantrum about a dish (even though I have never been more clean with dishes in my life) or about a can of soup I ate after she encouraged me to help myself to the food in the pantry. Then, in the middle of the entire bellow, she would say something like, “And anytime Abe is around I hardly every see you anyway!”

I would not replace Danny. And I will not put my life on hold for a kid who isn’t mine.

Here is where the resentment started building a bit.

I am already uncomfortable living in a fucking shack in a hill all the way north of civilization (and any Trader Joe’s). I have to walk outside on to my dirt courtyard to go to the bathroom inside the main apartment, wake up the dogs, be cold and then (most of the time) find that the toilet has not been flushed or the animals have soiled the bathroom floor after I stepped in it.

I avoid the bathroom at all costs now.

Dora was keeping Danny’s food in the fridge three to four weeks after his death. When I asked her about cleaning some of it out, she said, “Some of those things are all I have left of him.” What am I? Heartless?

We were both coping with depression, but combining the two in the same room felt suffocating.

So I kept to myself, in my little room, used the forest as my bathroom and waited to eat until I was at work or out with Abe.

Trent stopped going to work.

I texted him, “I think you are making a mistake.”

I just had to wait until he was sober again. I couldn’t escort him through this round of misery.

***

We went out to Highland Park to catch a cheap matinee ("A Harold and Kumar Christmas") on my day off. As we walked out of the theater, a homeless man pointed at Abe and said, “Look, its Richie Rich.”

Abe said, “Nice people in this neighborhood.”

We walked across the street to this nice little bakery in a bad neighborhood and enjoyed gourmet coffee drinks.

Abe said, “I hope you don’t get pregnant. Harold and Kumar’s girlfriends got pregnant. Sometimes there are little signs of things to come.”

I said, “Relax, Harold and Kumar are having babies just to have a sequel, not as some secret message to us.”

Abe said, “I am a little out of it. When I come out of a movie, I am only partially conscious. Sitting down in the dark all that time stops your blood from flowing.”

Me, “We are sitting down now, is there no blood flowing?”

Abe, “No. (closed eyes) I am in a zen place . . . zen . . . There are no chairs in the forest.”

Other things Abe said over coffee that makes me love him:

Abe, “We should gather all these assholes that wanted to sexually abuse you. Text them to meet you in a hotel room and I will kick all their asses. Beat the shit out of them and leave them all in a room together. Invite Frank, tell him to bring your grandmother’s stuff.”

Abe, “People are inconsiderate. They will pick their nose, shake your hand and then wipe their face. That’s how inconsiderate they are. Who invented hand shakes anyway? Its fucking stupid.”

***

One day, Abe approached the apartment and I kissed him hello. He said, “Why are your boobs so big?”

I said, “I have no idea.”

They were getting large. They were a full cup size larger than they were 2 weeks ago. It was like I just woke up to big breasts.

I realized I had missed my pills for 3 days at a time, sometimes 5 days. It was strange since I had the memory of taking the pills but looking at the packet, I was clearly behind.

Abe said, “Oh great.”

Then came the frequent urination. Then the feelings of constipation, heart burn . . . aching in my lower back.

I wasn’t yet late for my period, but the symptoms came in one after another, like a marching band.

My sense of smell was so acute, I felt like dog food from the Doggie Daycare kitchen was slathered on my face.

In my mind, I had resolved that I was pregnant, before even addressing all of Abe’s questions or attitude towards it.

I remember lying back and watching “Breaking Bad” (all I could do being without a car in Sylmar for 6 weeks was watch every single episode of Breaking Bad), thinking this baby was why everything happened.

Danny died so Abe could come back into my life and give me this love child.

God, it sounds ridiculous. I am not an idiot. I have no money. Of course its a bad time.

Abe’s parents were still weary of me since I broke up with him 6 months ago and (I hear) fell silent when ever he brought up my name. Not to mention, the pressure that would come down hard on me to get rid of all my animals.

Even so, I read up about early pregnancy, I ate whatever I wanted and gained 8 lbs, I felt tired and slept in more. I was happy.

Abe said, “Did you google big breasts?”

Me, “Yes.”

Abe, “And?!”

Me, “Its one of the first signs of pregnancy-”

Abe, “GREAT! You can’t have a baby. You are too stressed out, and you aren’t comfortable here. You need to be very relaxed to get pregnant.”

I said, “Sacajawea wasn’t comfortable! She led Lewis and Clark down the Oregon trail and then stopped to give birth in a field. THEN- they left her there, alone, to recover . . . AND she caught up to them, afterward.”

Abe, “Babe. You aren’t Sacajawea.”

Eventually, Abe got a pregnancy test and brought it to work. It was still a few days before my missed period and we spoke in the car during my break.

He was initially upset and said, “Oh my God, you are pregnant! God! My parents are going to be so disappointed in me! Well, its not like I have gone to jail or done anything wrong. its just . . . GOD!!!! Because of your irresponsibility, we are going to have a child. Good work!”

To which I said, “FUCK YOU!”

That night he slept in his car. I woke up at 3am and asked him to come inside.

The following morning he said, “I was worried you would be very upset with me for yelling at you. I know you think you miscarried before because you were yelled at.”

I said, “My therapist said you are allowed an emotional reaction. So that was it.”

He said, “Its pathetic your therapist has to explain things for me when I can’t explain them . . . myself.”

I said, “Its not pathetic. . . all we have is each other. We can’t turn against each other. We are in this together. We have to support each other.”

He was silent, nodded and never yelled again.

***

I would say, “I might just be having a hormonal reaction to missing my pills.”

He said, “No, you are pregnant. Great. Well, let’s talk. What now?”

I said, “I don’t know. I will need my own bathroom if I am.”

He nodded.

I said, “Don’t worry, I already picked out the spot where we will get married.”

He said, “Where? No, seriously, let’s talk about it.”

I stopped and looked at him. I could see the white from his eyes through his tinted sunglasses. His mouth curled up in a smile and he gave a muffled laugh but looked at me with every intention of finishing the conversation.

I said, “A place your mom showed us in San Clemente. I am . . . just kidding. I don’t really care about that.”

He said, “There are plenty of places along the coast that we could get married. Where would we live?”

I said, “Certainly not Sylmar. I don’t like Los Angeles for a child. Its ok for me .  . . just me, but not a child.”

He said, “Then we agree Orange County would be better. How many kids?”

Me, “Four.”

He said, “That seems like a lot.”

Me, “It is. I really don’t care. One would be enough.”

He said, “Boy? Girl?”

Me, “I really don’t have a preference.”

My voice was getting more quiet as the conversation went on. I couldn’t tell if he was sarcastically drilling me or if he was entertaining the thought.

I said, “This is all assuming you want me to keep the child. If you want me to abort, that’s a separate conversation.”

He nodded and blew out smoke from half a cigarette he stashed behind his ear, “I know . . . I don’t want an abortion.”

This is the first time he had ever discussed future plans with me. Even towards the end of our year long affair, he would not commit to any kind of timeline. It was hard to believe he was coming through like this. My heart soared.

I took the test. It was negative.

He said, “Its less than 80% accuracy 4 days before your missed period. We should wait and take it again.”

I said, “Ok.”

He said, “If you are, you can’t keep working here.”

I said, “Let’s save this conversation for after a missed period.”

We did wait to talk about it, in the meantime I researched diet, 2 bedroom condos, even pre-schools. Jesus, I was losing my mind and happy to do it. It was a fantasy. I thought I could postpone writing school for 6 months to a year, raise a baby and start over with a family of my own.

Abe continued to handle things gracefully. We waited in his car outside a pizza place, an hour before his band went on stage (Its some kind of Death Metal Punk Band). I was pitching him a business idea I had.

Abe, “You are having my baby and want to open up a fuck club. What are you doing to my life?”

Me, “HAHAHAHA! I also looked back for the date of conception with the conception calculator and it was Oct. 29th. That’s when we did coke with Trent and Kent.”

Abe, “That can’t be. You can’t conceive on coke and liquor.”

Me, “Yes you can.”

Abe, “Great, we are going to give birth to Neil Patrick Harris.”

Me, “That would be . . . awesome.”

I wasn’t concerned, there were no drugs after that night.

I started taking Folic Acid (to reduce birth defects) and refused to miss any meals. My appetite multiplied, as did my bathroom visits. I was smiling more. Rubbing my tummy. Belching. And I was telling everyone I felt pregnant.

Then I missed my period.

We had intercourse the next morning, and there was thick brown discharge around the base of his penis. I started panicking.

My last pregnancy ended in miscarriage 4 years ago.

He tried to calm me down, and we went to a Planned Parenthood in some bumfuck, strip mall, dirt corner of San Fernando Valley. I waited over an hour with 25 other Hispanic women who, I thought, would look a lot more pretty if they wiped that shitty make-up off their faces.

I took the test. It was negative.

They asked me if I had unprotected intercourse, I said yes.

They asked, “When was the last time you had unprotected intercourse?”

I said, “This morning.” I know . . . I should be a role model.

They asked if I had been through any stressful events recently.

I said, “I moved and my roommate hung himself.”

Pause. “I am . . . sorry to hear that.”

I said, “My breasts are huge now, though.”

The nurse said, “Don’t your breasts usually get sore before your period?”

I said, “Yeah, but they don’t even fit in my bra anymore.”

She tightened her face and said, “Well, its still early yet. Take another test in a week.”

Then I waited another half hour to see the Gyno for a vaginal exam. I was concerned about the discharge. I was worried I was having another miscarriage.

The Gyno wasn’t even a real Gyno, she was a nurse. She came in and didn’t even bother to examine me.

As much as women like to remind men of how they treat female patients like neurotic, hormone head cases when it comes to their own bodies, I have to say, women doctors/nurses are just as bad.

When I had insurance, I only had to wait 10 minutes and “EVAN ALMIGHTY” was playing on a large flat screen in the lobby, but the Gyno was just as much of a patronizing bitch as this glorified nurse with a hairbrush up her ass.

She said, “You are not pregnant.”

I said, “But what about the discharge . . . the large breasts . . . the frequent urination . . .”

She said, “You have a urinary tract infection. I will give you a prescription for that. If your breasts were getting bigger from pregnancy, it would show up in the test. We have very sensitive tests here.”

Is that true? Breasts growing large are usually the very first sign of pregnancy. They can swell within the first 10 days. Sometimes the hormone that is found in your urine if pregnant (HcG) isn’t apparent until 7 days after your missed period.

I have had a false negative before because I took my test too early.

I was crying. The cliche, I was sitting there bottomless, in a paper gown, crying because she didn’t think I was pregnant.

She said, “If it makes you feel better, you can keep testing every two weeks until you are.”

I said, “No, its not a good time. But I was going to keep it.”

She said, “Let me get you more pills. You will probably get your period later today, don’t you think?”

I told her I was using Ortho Micronor birth control due to migraines. She said slowly, like I was retarded, “Oh. Um. Yeah, if you miss even one of these pills, you can get pregnant immediately. So please get on the pill right away to get your system back on the program. It won’t hurt the baby if you are, but most likely you are not.”

I said, “Would it be better to go on a regular birth control pill?”

She said, “No. The person that prescribed this knew what they were doing. If you have more estrogen in your system and are prone to migraines, you can get blood clots. So no estrogen for you!”

No estrogen and big tits!? No one else is concerned?

I just sat there for over an hour, with unwed girls kicking my chair every single time they had to walk by, one fat bitch chewing gum with her mouth open in my ear, all for that?

Walking out, tears streamed down my face. Everyone stared at me. I wonder what they thought.

At home, I felt a drop or two of blood and shut down.

Abe said, “Its ok. You had all the symptoms. Psychosomatic pregnancies are more common in women who had miscarriages. I read about it. You had all the symptoms. You body just thought it was pregnant.”

I was angry. I started chain smoking in my studio.

He said, “Uh oh, if you smoke inside, that means you are really upset.”

He knelt down in front of me and said, “Its just not the right time, ok? I am not going to run off on you. This doesn’t change anything between us . . . but I have to go take care of a few things in Costa Mesa, ok?”

I refused to look him in the eye. I refused to talk to him. Why? Why am I such a cold bitch when things don’t go my way?

He said, “Why won’t you look at me?”

I said, “I just don’t want to.”

He said, “Baby . . . you were really skinny when I first came to see you. I think you just started eating and gaining a little weight and got confused.”

I blew a bitch gasp over my shoulder.

He kissed my cheek and promised to be back. Then he left me.

I chased 3 sleeping pills with a small pocket bottle of chardonnay and cried my eyes out. I released those gut wrenching sobs that feel like you are yanking down curtains.

After I fell asleep, I woke up feeling warmth in my stomach. In the 5 hours of drug induced slumber, I woke up believing I still was pregnant.

I spotted a little more in the morning but nothing worthy of a tampon.

I scoured chat rooms and blogs about spotting in early pregnancy, implantation bleeding and other symptoms consistent with a late diagnosis.

Dora would say things like, “How can you drink when you think you are pregnant?”

“Don’t take the pill, it will kill your baby?”

“If the test says you are negative, you are not pregnant.”

GOD, I wanted to strangle her! She talks over me and doesn’t read! What did she know?

4 days passed .  . . still no period.

Abe, “Oh my God, you are pregnant! Can’t we move in and get married first!? Can’t we do things in order?”

Me, “Life happens.”

6 days passed . . . still no period.

Abe, “Don’t talk to me about it until you take another test. YOU ARE DRIVING ME CRAZY!”

7 days passed . . . still no period.

Abe and I bought another pregnancy test.

He said, “I don’t want to be here for the test. I want to be in some fancy hotel lobby. Can we go somewhere like that? A resort?”

I googled and said, “Nope. No resorts near Sylmar, San Fernando or Burbank.” Shocker.

We decided to go up to Griffith Park to take the test, which was closed on Tuesdays, of course. (It was Tuesday)

I peed on it and immediately saw two lines appear.

We sat down and I said, “I saw the results right away. I am pregnant.”

He calmly said, “Of course.”

I was emotional. I remember my mother saying she cried when she found out she was pregnant with my sister and always thought that's why my sister has such a bad attitude in general.

When she found out she was pregnant with me, she was happy, and perhaps that’s why I have a more optimistic mood (thought not lately).

So I felt myself crumbling and shaking. He escorted me to the car and I showed him the test and saw things more clearly. It said a cross is positive, and two lines is negative.

I said, “Oh, I guess I am not pregnant. Never mind.”

I saw his eye brows melt and he said, “Baby, you got to get a hold of yourself.”

I said, “Of course I am not pregnant. I can’t have babies. I poisoned this body. I had that abortion when I was 21. That fetus was protected by my uterus and they had to vacuum it out of me. I am an asshole. GOD DOESN’T THINK I DESERVE A BABY!”

Poor Abe.

He said, “I didn’t get emotional when you told me we were having a baby, why are you getting emotional about not having a baby?  Baby . . . I would have been happy either way. I wanted it too.”

I said, “Well, you will have to find some other girl, because clearly I can’t have babies.”

We drove around and got lost. Was I losing my mind!?

I kept saying, “I felt it. It was real.”

We pulled over into an empty parking lot with this amazing mural in it. On the bottom, it said, “People are anxious to change their circumstances, but are unwilling to change themselves . . . therefore they remain bound.”

Abe said, “You see that?”

I nodded.

He said, “Everything is here for a reason. We have to change ourselves first. I got to get a regular job.”

My therapist later said, “Death will trigger past experiences with death that haven’t been properly dealt with ... like abortion and miscarriage. You probably are recreating a pregnancy to cope with both of those experiences.”

Am I MAD? How can this be?

Abe said, “Baby, you know, I was thinking your breasts should be bigger, and then they were. I think its because I was thinking they should be bigger. You know, I am kinda psychic.”

I cynically blew out tobacco smoke.

The depression from the disappointment of not being pregnant was worse than the move, Danny’s death and the car. It was worse than all of it combined. My ray of hope was only my imagination, and when it was eliminated by medical science- I realized how far my head was buried.

I emotionally shut down.

Abe promised to make me a Tofurkey after Thanksgiving, but didn’t want me to join his family’s dinner. His grandfather was recently diagnosed with stomach cancer and he didn’t want to “create more tension.”

So I waited until Thanksgiving morning, exactly one week after my missed period, and took the test.

Negative.

Dora took me to her sister’s Thanksgiving brunch. There is tension between Dora, her sister and her mother- but Danny’s death brought them all together.

I ate a biscuit and some mashed potatoes.

I listened to Dora’s Mother’s Boyfriend . . .

“Whenever I recite ‘Tron’, you pretend you don’t know what I am talking about.”

“No, the best science fiction movie ever is ‘Buckaroo Bonzai’ . . . because he lives in the 8th dimension and is a scientist, pilot and rock star.”

I was trying not to be moody.

I missed my Mom.

I flirted with some livestock and then went to work at Doggie Daycare . . . not because I was scheduled, just because I was depressed.

I shouldn’t have saved that final test for Thanksgiving morning.

Immediately after Danny died, I had two bouts of menstrual bleeding, back to back, and then nothing. There has been nothing. And now there was no Thanksgiving.

Of course, Dora hasn’t had her period either. Think of her disappointment after her pregnancy test. She had no boyfriend to kiss her cheek and tell her he would still be there.

Their love would never physically manifest itself. The finality of it all is sickening.

I guess I am the lucky bitch.

Now, as I write this, I am 3 weeks and 1 day late on my period.

Balls.

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