Sometimes, I don’t like referring to myself as a writer. Writers write. I occasionally get an idea and type something out and then leave it to die somewhere in my documents folder, eventually coming back to it and having nothing to add.
The last few times I’ve been to my monthly Zona Rosa meetings I’ve churned out some decent Exorcises, and actually, my Exorcise from February had some rave reviews, so I’m gonna post it here. I’m also going to try my damnedest to get something on the page every other day at first, and then every day. Even if it’s terrible. Last summer, I discovered this website called The One-Minute Writer, and I’m going to try and make myself do the prompts every day, if not on the blog, then on a blank Word document. It’s so easy for me to forget to be creative when I have an entire house to keep clean and two small businesses to run. Throw in a newborn come August and I’m screwed.
So then, after all that, here’s my February stream-of-consciousness Exorcise:
My heart is beating out of my ribcage as I slowly throw one leg out of the car after the other onto the freezing 8:30a.m. pavement. My husband Oscar offered to drive me to the doctor’s office, which I appreciated because I’m always a bundle of nerves when I go in for visits. Always a step ahead of me, he opens the front door to the waiting room, and goes to sit down while I sign in at the front desk. Ka-thunk, ka-thunk, -ka-thunk. My heartbeat has doubled since I got out of the car, and I go sit next to Oscar in an uncomfortable patterned chair in the waiting room. I’m sitting facing the receptionist, watching her as she checks other patients in and answers phones. I study the lines in her face and notice that the shade of lipstick she’s wearing makes her look older instead of younger, but she looks nice enough. I look impatiently at the clock, which says it’s only 8:20, and look around for a magazine to read. I scan the room, and there’s nothing around me, and I don’t want to get up to search for one, so I take out my phone, opting to read some of my favorite blogs instead. It feels like I’ve been sitting here for hours, and I have a knot in my stomach the size of Cleveland. Suddenly, my stomach is upset and I feel like I have to use the restroom, but I don’t want to leave and have them call my name. Oscar, always calm, is sitting next to me doing a crossword puzzle, and I whisper to him that I’m not feeling well and that I’ll be right back. He kisses my forehead reassuringly, because he knows I’m nervous, and says he’ll let them know I stepped out if I’m called. I gently walk to the restroom located in the waiting room, trying not to make a scene, even though my stomach feels like it’s getting air-raided. I walk in and sit, just trying to breathe slowly through the Cleveland-sized knot. Success comes after about 10 seconds, and I walk to the sink and wash my hands out of habit, and walk out and sit back down next to my husband, offering to help him with his crossword.
Before we could get through 3 puzzle clues, a nurse came out and called my name. My heart rate shot back up, and I held out my left hand for Oscar’s, and he followed behind me through the door. The nurse instructed us to go the first door directly in front of us and had me lie down on the table. “You’ve already done this once, just relax”, I say to myself, trying to calm my jittery nerves. The technician is wearing a bright pink scrubs set, and I find myself extremely attracted to the color. Her voice is soft, and I ask her if I need to undress, and she bubbly responds, “No ma’am, not this time! We can check on everything from the outside.” I smile nervously at Oscar, who’s holding my coat and purse in his hands and fidgeting with his phone. I look at the complicated-looking piece of machinery on my right, and watch the nurse push buttons and get everything ready. “Ok, this is going to be really cold,” she says, as she squirts some colorless liquid goo onto my stomach. “This feels like lubricant, or worse…” I think to myself, as she’s coating my stomach with it. Then, with the flick of another button on her very menacing-looking machine, she pulls up a picture on the wall in front of me, and I see two tiny legs, two tiny arms, and a bulbous little head. I marveled at it for a split second, but just as soon as the picture was there, it was gone, and she laughed and said, “You’ve got yourself a little mover and shaker in there! I can barely get a good enough shot to take a picture for you!” The shaky nerves I had been feeling all morning melted away at the sight of the most amazing thing I’ve ever seen, and I felt warm streams trickling down the sides of my face. In that moment, overwhelmed would have been an understatement. My eyes met with Oscar’s, and he was beaming. “I love you,” he mouthed to me, and we both looked back at the screen. The technician quickly broke my concentration on the little bean, and told us that we were right on track with growth, and that the due date will be August 29th, 2010. She flicked on another switch, and Oscar and I heard the most intoxicating sound – a galloping heartbeat of over 155 beats per minute, putting my nervous heartbeat to shame. “That heartbeat is completely normal,” she assured us. “It slows down as the baby gets bigger.”
She then printed out an entire row of pictures for us and grabbed some tissue for me to clean off the now slightly warmer goo. Still stunned and elated by the picture on the screen, I walked out of the room and into another patient room and waited to speak to the doctor. It was the most calm I had ever been in a waiting room in my life.