Nectar

Aging and Loneliness

Maria Mekht|Unsplash

In the South, if you are somewhat of a loner and you do not surround yourself with what is new and improved or… what is, who is, and how things are trending, it is easy to fall deeper into the grips of loneliness. Ten years ago, I had a knack for busying myself with things that did not matter much, with things that seemed to fill a pressing void, but as I age, there is no nectar sweet enough to ease the ailments that I have grown prone to feeling.

I cannot lean back into the memories of what got me through the horny nights and draining days. Let me be frank, the other side of the bed is colder than a polar bear’s shoulder and I have forgotten how to right that. Every once in a while, I will poke my head out, look up, down, and all around to see if anyone meets my gaze. I cannot find my half. There is no Adam, no Eve, I am no one’s rib.

I am no one’s end-of-the-day highlight.

The older that I become, the easier it is to see that I have settled into a place where rejection often sends the damned for taking chances in trying to find love but have given up. The cause remains a cause but fighting for it weakens me. I want to feel sweet all over, taken… pressed into like a perfect pitch. I want to be a home run. I want to be sizzling bacon, the welcome smell of soul food in a packed restaurant. Is my tea no longer sweet?

Am I lacking sugar?

I want to be and I don’t want to be all at once. That is a conundrum that renders no solution. I have my own shoes to fill and they seem bottomless. Human beings want to love. We want to be loved. We want to share our lovely love with others who love. This shit should not be hard, but it is. And I digress. I want the taste of pineapple dripping from my lips, the delicate corners of apple slices sticking to my fingers, and buttermilk pancakes loaded with maple syrup. I want the ickiness of it all to drown me then pull me up and out of the water, and guide me safely to shore.

Black women are not attracted to me. Black men are intimidated by me. I am too this or too that to be loved by my own and I have no home anywhere else. I am trapped within the ins and outs of aging with no my place of sweetness to call mine.

I am nectar in waiting.

Someone whole enough will come around to take a bite out of me. I know this. I also know that when the heart is dead-set on shifting gears and loving, it wants what it wants.

In the South, I do not stand out. And what’s worse than any of this…

I don’t know how to.


Originally published on Medium

She’s Carrying The World

Babies & Their Bellies

 

womanpregnantbelly
Chayene Rafaela|Unsplash

I have this thing for pregnant bellies. I love them! For as long as I can remember, I have been drawn to the wonder of a woman’s belly — how it can be home to a miracle growing inside. Currently, at work, there are two co-workers who are pregnant. Both are carrying boys. I have an army of boys in my family, little soldiers who get into mischief and carve out places in this world with their seeking fingers. I connect with children, even while in their mother’s womb, we bond.

A few weeks back, my co-worker (the one who is due in May) was walking up the hallway toward our front desk and I was heading back from the radiologists’ reading department and we sort of met in the middle. I calmly asked, “May I?” as I pointed to her belly and she smiled as bright as anyone could and almost shouted, “Sure!” I placed my right hand just above her navel and began talking to her little one, granting him blessings straight from my heart. I thanked her and shortly after when we were both settled back into the groove of our positions, she called me to let me know that her little one started to kick as soon as she walked away.

I laughed, then smiled. At the end of my shift, I welcomed a few tears. The beauty of something as monumental as bringing another human being into this world hit me without my knowledge. I said softly to myself, “I wonder if they know that history is beginning in their bellies — they’re carrying the world.” I think of how things would have been had I brought my own little one into this world — if I ever could and a variety of emotions hit me at once, from every angle. I used to think that I was useless, that if I was not giving this world a part of me, that I did not matter. I used to believe that without a child of my own, I was not fit to be called “woman.”

Now, when I see this co-worker, she smiles. I ask her, “How’s the little one?” and she always says, “He’s busy growing. He’s good.” Her belly is shifting from a basketball to a combination of a football and beach-ball. She’s all belly, at a quick glance, nothing else seems to be shifting.

My other co-worker has baby written all over her. The sweet boy growing inside of her is making his presence known. It seems as though the little one is saying, “Get ready, world! I am going to be nothing you expected, but something that you need!” I have not given her belly a talking to, not yet, but I will — if allowed. I look at my own belly, wondering if it is fit to grow a miracle like most women — if it can create change. And, I think it can, it is the completing part of it all that I am told would be problematic. I want to reach out and call to the little soothsayer, sage, or savior nearing what will be my co-worker’s last trimester. I want to tell him to be all that he can be and so much more.

I watch her, my co-worker (her due date is sometime in April), she races about our work-place on a mission. It is hard to catch her in slow motion. She has so much energy and I cannot help but feel like instead of exhaustion and swollen feet and frequent bathroom breaks and odd tastes in food, her little one is far more mature and is simply settled in the womb until he is called away. I have never seen someone still as active for ten straight hours at six months pregnant before. She is nonstop. I feel as though her little boy is saving the best for his debut. He will be a reckoning. He will be a force.

We better get ready.

Both of these women are doing something I have chosen not to, that I, in the grand scheme of things, cannot. To say that I am moved each day that I get a chance to see them would be an understatement. I have an incredible amount of respect for them. After all, they are carrying their own little worlds inside. Each of them preparing for motherhood at their own pace.

Each of them preparing to share with all of us, the gift of life.


Originally published in A Cornered Gurl via Medium.