Meth is good for writer’s block,
or so claims whoever Terry Gross is interviewing,
with that annoying voice she has, always – always inflecting.
I would be a mess – if I tried meth –
leaping immediately to conclude I could feel my jaw dissolving, my teeth falling out.
I am susceptible.
Today I feel suspended –
caught between the end of summer, the beginning of fall –
my husband’s last year of school, and from the lips of everyone
we know falls what’s next, what’s next, what’s next.
I am thirty now, and married seven years,
and these two facts combined give license
to my boss, my dry cleaner, my manicurist and everyone else I know
to ask when I am going to have a baby. I just say
not yet, not yet, not yet.
We have reached a point, you see, where
we should buy a house, paint one room some neutral pastel
and settle down to this business of living. But suddenly
S. thinks he might want a ph.d –
– in moral philosophy –
and try as I might to work up indignation,
to portray what I see in eyes of others when I mention this,
(which is, shock, and deep concern for S.’s very character)
I find myself agreeing because, you know,
I haven’t yet learned to play the guitar, published my novel
or become the unshakable zen-like, unrattleable creature I intend to be.
My doctor gives me dire warnings, about turning thirty and aging eggs.
Ms. M – really, you should have started at 26.
He gives me extra-strength vitamins and sends me on my way.
When I call people, including all my girlfriends, and say
I have great news –
to ten little fingers, and ten little toes, they always leap so
news of my writing published, or my brother’s wedding,
lets them down.
I’ve never felt so watched before.
Eight years ago, my love and I –
we chased our dreams through mountains and
over the Piedmont, from university to university to university
and now, nearly complete, people want us just to rest , keep our feet on the ground, so to speak. To stop the dreams and start being productive members of society.
But perhaps most of who we were at twenty-two
remains the same. And if that’s true, and only
old ovaries and a few more wrinkles, mark our advancing age –
then perhaps to S., I should be able to say,
ph.d. or high school teacher
mechanic, bus boy, lawyer, stand-up comedien –
to me it doesn’t matter what comes next, or
what you want to do or be – I will go with you anywhere.
You are, after all, my one great love affair.