…All my movements were forced and awkward. Reaching for an apple felt like threading a needle. The overwhelming feeling was of falsehood, like I was secretly not a woman but a trench coat full of cats.
Beer, I needed beer. I’m not an alcoholic myself, but I do follow some of their practices; depression has always served as a pause to self medicate.
I finished my shopping with the reverberating mantra of “you’re just a regular normal person” acting as a cork to my impending break down. In line I reached for my phone to call and check on the baby. I had a text, an other congratulations. I opened the message skillfully, marveling at my own level of normality, just a regular woman, checking her phone in line at the grocery.
“Dear Kiersen, congratulations on your beautiful baby girl! I remember when my baby (not so baby anymore) was born like it was yesterday. Isn’t motherhood just the best?! <3”
I read the last line again: “isn’t motherhood just the best?!”
I quickly tallied, my aching tits, the mattress pad between my thighs slowly turning to a slip n’ slide, the unshakable gnawing of my anxiety chewing away at my reason…”just the best“…My mind slunk back to a prosecco filled night in Venice…no, motherhood wasn’t the best, having sex pressed up against the bathroom mirror of a boutique Italian hotel was the best.
I looked up from my phone only when the cashier asked for my ID. My mouth dropped, agape. “For what?” I was astonished, she paused, politely running her press on red nails through her hair before pointing expressionlessly at the six pack. “I’m 28” I said. She explained that she had no way of knowing that without my ID. I told her I had chicken pick scars which could prove I was born in the 90s, to which she made no confession. I began to cry. I needed that beer. There in the Railey’s of South Woodland, I lost my dignity. Leaving defeated and humiliated through the sliding doors, I cried all the way to my car, my whimpers escalating to wheezing as I reached to door closed.
I attempted the mantra again, it did nothing, I was certain of the very grim-ness which had permeated my reality. I turned the ignition and screamed wildly. My brain had transformed from a sedentary organ to a rabid armadillo attempt to rip its way through the barrier of my skull.
My breath regulated. I lifted my forehead from the steering wheel and turned vacant, red eyes ahead of me. I stared helplessly and silently at the dust of the hot traffic median in front of my parked car. Packed gray dirt surrounded a single cypress tree, thriving inexplicably in the cacophony of grinding rubber tires and large men spitting on the ground. The heat waves radiated from the black and yellow blotted asphalt. This was motherhood.