Posts Tagged 'pregnancy'

Zola runs

After one hour. One hour. Not a talkative child, not really, but after one hour of riding in the high nest of a truly big semi cab, the girl starts to talk to the man behind the wheel. Ever been behind the wheel? Lot  of things to hear, and that high seat, looking out over the great highways, it’s a map, it’s a history. That driver, old-ish at 50 from driving hundred of thousands of miles, he’s like the pope, or a grand wizard, looking down on people like ants, and the girl is an ant. The man behind the wheel starts feeling himself to be a spiritual advisor. Life is the road. The road is life. He says stuff like that. So she starts to talk, and he listens in his big head Wizard of Oz way until he realizes no, this kid and her kid, that he picked up on a black road in a deep night, they’d really need to be far away from here.

This is where not too much can be said, or folks who are still here might suffer, might find sudden bad luck visited upon then. Even still, even now we can say that the girl brought her belly and her secrets with her on the road between Abilene and Padre, thanks to the big rig driver who was not the wizard of Oz, who set her off a little bit away from where she’d been going, back toward family who were willing not just to hide but to twist her secrets to keep the family looking right into the eyes of God.

Here is where time challenges some of what we know, because the woman, the child, the birth, the release of life into the open space – they push us uncomfortably toward the primitive, the unsanitary.

Ozzy Mandias

wanderer-above-the-mist-casper-david-friedrichThe pregnant feminist reminisced on the hegemony of gesture, rubbing her hand on her belly, big and round as a full moon. She rinsed her dry mouth with cool water and put her head under the faucet. My hair streams down my neck like snakes, like little rivers running as the snows melt in an early spring, she thinks and she pulls her head away from the sink and shakes it like a dog, water spraying around the kitchen. She thinks also I am not ready in spite of the evidence of her eyes, her belly and her ankles that she is beyond ready.

Truth be told, there are no accidental pregnancies among radical lesbian separatists, which is what Mardi Gras is, here with her big belly, pending baby and theories full and pressing against her, bladder and brain both distended past all previous reckoning. Mardi Gras is the child of sanctimony, matzo on one side, communion wafer on the other, and a little trickle of southern baptist that comes out once in awhile to sing big old hymns when noone is listening.

We here all know about the conversos of New Mexico, what, 16th 17th century Jews running to the new world from that old world wringing their hands in sacred mud for lost children, and then centuries later worshipping in that same wet Chimayo dirt with prayers and candles lit on a menorah but who knows quien sabe really, is what the grandmother said to the pregnant feminist.

The feminist and the rabbi walked into a bar – this is an actual joke that Mardi Gras heard from her own sister, who then inhaled a pretzel and asphyxiated like some nasty republican, like some old pop star, like some damn fool who can’t walk and chew gum at the same time.

Truthfully, when your ancestors came over from Spain and Morocco and Italy during the inquisition and they’ve all been steeped in the mythology of survival, then survive is what they do, what they do is survive past all expectation.

Mardi’s mother tells the story of the archbishop who played grabass with every choir boy in Española for twenty years and eventually got promoted up and out far enough where whispers could not touch, like dust in a sealed tomb, like the settling of old debts, and was silenced at last.

What worry could they have at the growing of Mardi’s belly, so intentional, so abolute in faith and love? All children should be wanted. All of Mardi’s are, starting with this one, the first. Ozzy Mandias, king of kings, son of women, singer of songs from every corner of this little earth.

Naches, bendiciónes


She’s like a piece of peach pie. Or like a peace pipe, fragrant and sweet with a bite in the air around her. Mafiala is my daughter. She was born to the mob and I took her away when I gave her that name. Mafia-la. A-la. O-la-la. She is my daughter, not yours. When I am a just a little girl myself I am with the gang, the gang of hostile idiots, the gang of hostile takeovers. They make me pregnant and then pull my wings out like I am a butterfly, a butterfly made for torture and fun. Problem is, of course, I am not a butterfly, I am not Mariposa, no, more like Kali, more like Cain than Abel and in my religion, vengeance is mine, vengaza es mio, like my grand-dad always said. He’s from Naches, blessings, bendiciónes, as far away from Lubbock as you can be and still be in Texas is the best thing about Naches, he would say. My old jewish grand-dad, who snapped one day years ago and ran away to India. He ran away to India and learned to play the sitar, to charm the snakes, the politicians, the incubi and succubi of public life in an old old country. He ran naked with the Indian dogs and fakirs, he washed in the Ganges. When it was time for the revolution he led elephants through the city, pounding their dinner plate feet into the ancient street, pounding flat, each sensitive searching trunk like a big angry eye looking for corruption, for forgetfulness, the unforgivable elephant sin.

Mafiala is my daughter, my sensitive child, the child who came to me through rape or incest or maybe it was both. I did not have my pedigree, you see, my where-did-you-come-from, my you-look-just-like-your-daddy credentials. Who knows? One day I am nothing, the next day I am a big belly sitting in Dunkin Donuts looking for someone to come claim me and give me a place to have this baby girl so I can go to school somewhere and be in the witness protection program or something. That might work, I think and I rub my 15-year-old belly and sing a song, half Yiddish half Spanish to the little gypsy princess who will be my baby, sister, and mother all in one.

Katalpa is a tree that grew there in Naches. I almost named my daughter Katalpa, until I realized on the morning I went into labor that really I’d been working for the Texas mafia, on my back, since I was 9 years old and I decided between screams and murderous plans that I would claim the name for my own. Mafia, la mafia, mafiala, my girl, my home, my road away from these criminal bastards.

You want to know the truth – you get good treatment when you’re carrying a baby, until the baby is born and they take her away to be with some more fit parents. O-la-la, my Mafiala. That didn’t happen, you know. I’m reading the paperwork, they say you can wait to sign it later, and I walk out to the baby room where all the newborns are lined up together, with little name tags at their feet.

My baby, Baby Girl Gorgon, does not have a first name yet. I see them standing in front of her, leaning their light blond heads together. Prospective daddy turns his face toward prospective mommy, he looks up and right through me, blue eyes cold and vacant. He doesn’t recognize me, old blue eyes, he’s just another moral bastard with a secret life waiting to adopt a baby that he’d let die if he didn’t own it. They turn away and step out, probably to get some coffee. I asked the nurse for some lime jello. When she goes to get it for me, I take Mafiala and leave.

She and I grew up together in a small town that was hurricane prone and unloved, where no one would notice us and that suited me just fine. I learned how to sew and how to play the piano. Mafiala learned how to dance and how to tell stories in the firelight in the long summer evenings. She sang songs like she was dressed in red velvet and I always wondered where she heard them, torch songs, leaning against my piano and making smoky eyes at me and Jimmy. Jimmy didn’t come along until Mafiala was almost 10, and by that time I was 25 and ready to think about skin and sex and juice and forgiveness. But a lot of things came before that time, and a lot of things came after, too.

Before a big storm can destroy everything in its path, certain things have to happen, or have to not happen. For example, in a strong walled city in an ancient port town, there has always been a history of reinforcement, of respect for storm and wind. There are traditions and times of restoration, these come with storytelling, firelight, dancing and god. Here we’ve reduced it to a Disney story, a feature film, the three little piggies, the big bad wolf. The big bad wolf cannot blow down a house that is cared for. If you want to destroy a city, first thing to do is ignore it. Let it get run down around the edges. Keep it hungry. Then let the winds blow. The winds blow, the children sing stormy weather, the elders sing hallelujah, the dogs drown on their rooftops, and the rich thank god that their insurance is paid up. After the storm, they rebuild. A new day has dawned. Hallelujah, amen.

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 52 other followers

Blog Stats

  • 165,615 hits



July 2020