Pamela’s count down.

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Pamela is about to have a baby.

Just one more month, that’s what the calendar says, so she waits.

The room waits, the crib waits, the small clothes already smell like sweet soap.

She waits, thinking the days will be over soon.

She has no idea yet.

It’s just a beggining.

She has no idea that she’s waiting to see a face, but that face will change every day.

She waits to hold him, but before she gets used to his shape and weight, it will change.

She will have keep waiting.

To hear him talk, watch him walk, for his next birthday.

Because parenting is a kaleidoscope and you miss a figure every time you blink.

 

She sits down and touches her stomach, she can’t hardly wait anymore.

Not knowing that after all that wait is over, and the room is empty.

She’s going to wish she had stopped time.

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Mermaids don’t exist.

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Mermaids don’t exist.

She listens.

She gets out of the water.

They don’t exist.

She looks in a mirror.

No tail.

She gets in the water, her legs, still legs.

She gets out of the water, legs.

The wolves learned to sing, the moon growls back.

They learned to sing, the ones that can.

But mermaids don’t.

They lost their voice.

They don’t exist.

She gets out of the water, her legs.

Legs all around, legs get old.

She forgets.

She gets old and legs get useful.

There’s diapers and leggos.

She cooks, she reads stories, she warms up bottles, she dances,

She cuts the crust off sandwiches, she gets tired.

She’s tired, but she knows, finally.

She kisses her daughter goodnight, her tail.

6 fights my ex-boyfriend and i had, and 1 we didn’t.

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(This one time we fought over the amount of his shirts i use as pajamas. Which is unfair because sharing is caring, and his clothes are warm and big and it was winter in France, and it was super cold. This one i decided i won. You are never getting your gray cashmere sweater back, by the way. Stop asking.
Seriously…
Stop).

During the day is easy to pretend we are somewhere else, all the noise, the people, the movement, if i close my eyes it feels like a supermarket, or an airport, or a mall, days are easy.

(This one time we fought over the right texture of Al dente pasta. And we started throwing spaguetti to the ceiling to prove our point. Mine fell, his stayed stuck up there for about a week, until i got tired of it staring at me and took it down with a broom).

Nights are entirely different things, it gets empty and cold, and the smell of pain is almost as strong as the smell of cheap disinfectant floating around every single room, person, thing and even pillow. At nights there is no denying it,  we are in a Children’s hospital, we came in with our baby and suitcases, we are going to be here a while.

(This one time we fought over the right way to cut onions. I said that as long as they made you cry you were doing it right. He said no, he said there was a right way, he saw them do it HIS way on Iron Chef).

Doctors and nurses go in and out at all hours, not even knocking the door. They don’t exist to me, i don’t even understand the language, i only look at your face, i read all i need to know in there. if things will be all right or don’t, i don’t need any foreign doctors, i’ll see it on your face.

( Then we fought over the right way to wash the dishes, i wash them one at a time, he soaps them all first. We got a dishwasher).

Supposedly only one of the parents can sleep with the child, but none of us could leave so we both stay, we sleep on the floor, all tangled up. When Paula wakes up crying in the middle of the night we both try to get up at the same time, i feel your limbs over me, around me, next to me, they might as well be mine.

(This one time we fought over this inexistent lover i had. He gave me so much trouble! Well i hope at least he was good. And hot. And a tall, tanned skinned, Greek man who had a nice exotic name, like Costas, ohhh and a boat! can we make him have a boat?)

After a couple of days we knew all the other kids, Sophie with the heart condition, Jerome with appendicitis, Carla who had been there for months. And their parents, we nod to each other, we try to smile, we order pizza and we share, we care, but what else can we do? These are such private battles, some of them are goodbyes, what can we really say?

(This one time he asked me to marry him, and we both agreed we didn’t believe in weddings and didn’t wanted one, but somehow we still managed to fight over who we would, hypothetically, invite).

The last day we were there, while Paula was taking a nap we ate Mc Donald’s sitting down on the floor outside her room. There were no chairs, because the huge family of gypsies staying with the kid next door had stolen ours. We ate with our hands, on the floor, and we knew everything was over and in a few hours we would be home, and we shared a Sprite and i put my head on your shoulder. And fuck all those fancy vacations, fuck that pre-fabricated moment when you asked me to marry you, that was one of the most beautiful moments i had with you.

But of course we left the hospital, and our kid got well, and we kept fighting and everything went downhill. And the fights got more and more ridiculous, and we stopped apologizing and started letting the anger go on for days…

Then we started fighting about love. Maybe that is when love finally thought “Screw you weirdos!” and decided to leave.

And i spent months calling love an idiot. But i don’t know, maybe it was us honey, maybe we were.

And, look, about all those stupid fights? I’m sorry, and also i forgive you, and also i forget.

And whatever happens, whomever we end up with, i want you to always be sure of these two things: You are NEVER getting that cashmere sweater back, and, at that at that particular moment, sitting on the floor of the hospital, tired, unshaved and with yesterday’s clothes, you were the best, strongest man i have ever met, and you were my life…

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Dear Paula this is planet earth

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I’m 24, I’m just an immature fool, and  I’m here sitting down at the lobby of the hospital signing a paper bargaining a life, taking all the guilt off the hospital in case something goes wrong and the patient dies, the patient is about to have it’s body cut open, the patient is 3 days old, it’s you.

Dear Paula we all make mistakes and then we have to pay them, it seems really unfair to me that you that haven’t made any yet already have a debt. Shouldn’t people have lived a little before they have to fight for their life? Shouldn’t they have learned some self-defense? A karate kick? Be able to talk?

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I believe in letting people know what they are getting into before they decide. I can’t get you out of here with your IV, i can’t bring all the things i want to show you to your hospital bed, so i’ll do the best i can…

Dear Paula this is planet earth:

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And that small black spot at the left is you. Don’t see it? Ah, sorry, let’s do a close up.

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That right there is you.

Yeah, you are really, really, REALLY small, and sometimes you will feel even smaller than that.

But there are all kinds of pretty things in here, like bunny rabbits, music, nice smelling flowers and puppies and candy.

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And my favorite animal, big beautiful giraffes with necks so long you want to slide through them.

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But earth is not always this happy and clean in it’s handsome hat. There are also bad things over here, like diseases, bad hair days, and hate, there’s a lot of that…

There are people who were not born as lucky as you and will make very silly things, like take things that are not theirs, like lives, or women, or they will hate others for falling in love with someone wearing pants instead of a skirt, super silly right? When you encounter this kind of people (Oh, you will!) Don’t lose your temper, don’t get upset, don’t hate them and don’t push them down, on the contrary, pull them up. It might not make a difference, they’ll probably don’t listen, they might throw your help back on your face like a basketball and you might end up feeling worst, do it anyway. Giving is not a multiplayer game. You give, sometimes you lose, then you start a new game and give again.

This is the person you have to help you along during this life:

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No,no,no, wait, wait, not that one…

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this is me, i’m your mom, and those fat cheeks you have are because i love cheese. Truth is i have no idea how to drive, so if you decide to come along, it’s gonna be a slow and bumpy ride.

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And this is your daddy, he likes playing with machetes (No! You can´t touch one until you are 30) and he finds lethal, poisonous animals who bite if you get too close, like scorpions and spiders, misunderstood and adorable (probably why he loves me, heh)

We made you with a little heart inside your chest, with nothing but a layer of skin to protect it, the fact that you have it, means that it will be broken, don’t be afraid, use it anyway. Make it run, get it out of your chest, let it get burned, it only means that it works, it’s the only way to make it grow.

Your passport will say that you are French, don’t pay attention to this, is a silly thing silly people make, we are all from everywhere, frontiers are made to jump them, languages to be spoken, different colors to be mixed, don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

Some people fall in love with money, they will try to sell you happiness and block your path with their shiny black cars, get away from them baby, they are the poorer of us all, even if you have to take the long way, retreat your steps and find a different road.

Dear Paula i won’t start our relationship with an order so, I won’t ask you to stay, at the end is your fight, not mine, so you are free to decide. This is what you are getting yourself into if you decide to come out of those silver doors alive. If you don’t I won’t be upset, i will be really sad but i won’t be upset.

Dear Paula this is planet earth, this is your family, this is me, we are kind of broken and we’ll give you a hard time, but we are yours and we have everything ready for you if you decide to stay. Paula this are the cards you got, are you in?

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(2010)