Saturday, April 16, 2011

Time Laps

We are six in our new-just-moved-into apartment, it's never quite. Our downstairs neighbors complain that their chandelier is going to fall on them. My mom gets us a membership at a sports club...

My sister is carrying the big umbrella and I am making marks in the sand with the umbrella's anchor stick. My brother carries the plastic rug because he's the youngest and it's the lightest object. We approach the Mediterranean and spend the rest of the day there. I go home with a sunburn.

The door bell is ringing non-stop (must be one of us, we all think), several footsteps rush towards the front door, meanwhile Ismail Yassin's famous laugh ricochet across the flat. In the kitchen the food on the stove sizzles. Our youngest yells at the top of his lungs "MOM I'M HUNGRY!"

My stare falls on a cigarette butt still glowing, I step on it as I pull myself up. My friends lips move and her hand gestures to the school's front gate, I turn down my Walkman and try to listen through Kurt Cobain's angry yells whose car we're going to ride in.

The three of us continue to cycle along the riviera "Are you sure we are going the right way, Neveen? we've been cycling for the past hour and our hotel is nowhere in sight!"... "just trust me!". 

... I dig my wet face in my brother's embrace,  he whispers in my ears "that's fine, just don't take it off!"...

I haven't cried yet, but I can feel the tears coming, oh boy here they come... why couldn't they wait until I was in the plane? My mom hugs me tight and we both wail as if someone just died. I make out a grimace on my husband's face through a wall of tears. "I love you mom".

She's one ounce shy of seven pounds! Announces the midwife. I smile at her cone headed skull. She's beautiful.

"I don't want to birth her now" I look intently at the midwife, "she's coming too fast, too fast. I want some time before she comes (but she's already crowning I think to myself)". Mary brings her calm smiling face closer to mine, holds my hands, and instructs me "I want to release the pressure, when you get a contraction let it go by breathing through your mouth. Listen: open, open, open-- like a flower... release, release, release" the baby's head slides back in the birthing canal.... "Now, I'm ready now!"Mary smiles and puts her hands under the water--ready, to catch the baby.

My mother and Mei stretch their bodies on a blanket on the airport floor. I look at my husband and declare, smiling "Now, we are officially homeless!"

We follow the scattered flow of people towards the igloo on the frozen lake, only it's been warm enough that the first layer of snow over the thick ice crust has melted enough, to make dodging slushy puddles impossible with tiny feet trotting along. We decide to turn around. My first experience of walking on water. Trickier than one would think.

"Look mom, spring is here!"



Anna said...

Oh my goodness! This is gorgeous writing! You are a poet!

Muslim Hippie said...