Thursday, September 25, 2008

Harvest Time '78

“Oh, I’ve already thought of that. I would send you out
to California to live with Uncle Jack and Aunt Pat until
the baby comes and is put up for adoption.” Put up?! PUT
UP?!?! Like vegetables after harvest? Like the plum jelly
mom makes every fall? Stuffed in a jar and hidden high on
a shelf somewhere to be brought out at some later date?

I am recalling my mother’s response to a question I had
posed to her a week or two earlier, “Mom? What would you
do if one of us got pregnant?” [Out of the seven kids in our
family, four are girls.] How can a daughter ask a mother that
question and a mother not pause to consider the reason?

“Miss Smith?”

I am called out of my contemplation and back into an
exam room at Planned Parenthood. The doctor appears
and inquires brusquely, rudely, “do you think you are

“No” I lie, hoping that my answer will become the gospel

“Why not?” he pushes.

“Because I am so irregular, once I went for seven months
with out a period” when I thought I was pregnant - I don’t
add... oh god...

“Well, you are and you’d better figure out what you are going
to do quickly because you are close to ten weeks along.”


He turns away and leaves the room shaking his head, these
ignorant, idiotic girls...

The noise in my head is reaching mind-blowing proportions


and I am thinking that there isn’t enough air in this place.


I can’t breathe

This can NOT be happening to me

I am a nice girl, from a nice family

I can’t breathe

I am going to college in a month

I have a roommate

I can’t breathe

We have written each other about how to decorate our
dorm room

What about MY DORM ROOM???

I blindly stumble out of the exam room, down the hall,
gaining momentum as I reach the waiting room. I rush past
Mac throwing him a murderous glance and run down the
long staircase to the street below. Mac hurries after me.

“I’m pregnant” - this I say flaty, belieing the panic within.


Mac wraps his arms around me but there is no passion
today. There is no affection. There is no love. It is not
because he isn’t offering - it is because I am closed off
to receiving.

We walk back to the car and get in. We have driven to
a town forty five minutes from our own so as not to be
recognized. As we begin the long drive back
I glance at Mac and I see he is smiling.

What the....?

“I can’t help it, I think of you carrying our baby and it
makes me smile...”

I am wondering if my swing is strong enough to shatter
teeth. I am wondering if it is strong enough to shatter time
and make this all go away.

I am wondering if I am strong enough...

As I stare at the ripening August fields rushing past I know
harvest time is near.

I will be put up.

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