June 25, 2006

Preconceived Notions

Blame it on the hormones.

On Tuesday, I started taking Drug #2 in my multi-phase pharmacopia of baby-producing wonder pills.

By this time next week, I just might have a zygote in my possession.

Or maybe not.

Everything around me has taken on a new level of significance.

Friday evening, I was driving in my car between sprinklings of rain. The sunset had caught the storm clouds, turning the sky bright yellow. Every tree and blade of grass looked greener than green. I rolled down my window; the air smelled like new life. I turned up the radio and sang along. Just over the valley, I spotted the biggest, brightest rainbow I had ever seen in Nevada.

The beauty was almost too much for me. Tears welled up in my eyes.

I thought about the new person I am trying to bring into the world. I thought about the happy childhood I want to create for that person. I thought about storybooks and swingsets and science fair projects. I thought about family vacations and birthday parties and quiet evenings at home.

I thought about what it would be like to see a rainbow for the first time.

On Saturday afternoon, I planted some flowers in my garden. I dug up the dead bulb-based plants and replaced them with fresh, colorful annuals.

In a matter of hours, most of them looked as dead as the March tulips.

I tried not to take it as a sign. I tried not to interpret it as a cosmic commentary on my inability to sustain life outside of my self. But it still made me a little weepy.

I haven't always been the kind of person who cried at rainbows and dead snapdragons.

Wait. That's not quite true.

I still remember crying over a cotton commercial when I was a teenager.

It was a moving commercial.

The fabric of our lives.

I'm a naturally sentimental person going through a major life change while consuming copious amounts of hormones.

Blame it on the hormones.

Last night, we invited a few friends over and stayed up until 2 a.m. enjoying the summer night. We sat on the patio, by the glow of overpriced candles and a string of plastic martini-glass lights. We grew increasingly intoxicated as the night went on.

We discussed all manner of weighty topics, including flaming bags of poo.

None of us had ever actually encountered a flaming bag of poo, neither as a recipient nor as an instigator. However, we were all familiar with the practical joke, at least in abstract terms.

The doorbell rings. You open the door to find a flaming paper bag. You stomp on the fire to put it out. Then you realize that the bag was filled with poo, and you just stepped in it.

I don't know anybody who has ever actually experienced this.

For some reason, in my irresponsibly intoxicated state, this was a hilarious and fascinating concept. I wanted to meet someone who had received a flaming bag of poo, just so I could ask some follow up questions.

Did you actually stomp on it? If it happened to you a second time, would you stomp on it, or would you try to find another method of extinguishing the fire? What did you do that upset somebody enough to inspire this ridiculously contrived act?

At some point, while contemplating the poo bag, I had another one of those moments.

This might be the last time I'm this intoxicated... for a very long while.

Ton of bricks.

The fabric of my life is changing.

I am not just starting a new phase, but I am saying goodbye to one as well.

I am saying goodbye to comically strong vodka drinks and smoking until I sound like a washed-up lounge singer. I am saying goodbye to sleeping until noon because it's easier than dealing with a hangover. I am saying goodbye to having my body all to myself.

I remind myself that this isn't a permanent departure. I know parents who occasionally cut loose, throw down, and have a crazy old time. Heck, some of them are among my drinking buddies. Still, I know that it will be a long time before I can join their ranks.

This Tuesday, I begin Drug #3. Next weekend will mark my first medically supervised attempt at conceiving a baby.

I am optimistic.

If it works, I'll be a mother sometime in the spring of 2007.

If it doesn't work, I will get an extension on my unencumbered adulthood. At the very least, I'll have one more chance to get drunk, stay up late, and laugh loudly enough to disturb the neighbors... until it's time to try again.

When one door closes, another one opens.

I'm scared.

I'm excited.

I'm vaguely nauseous.

What awaits me on the other side?

I just hope it's not a flaming bag of poo.

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