last night, 8:30ish. bc of the unseasonably warm weather, the basement was accordingly un-cold and i was running on the treadmill in sweats and a sports bra. occasionally, when i couldn't stop watching the clock or staring straight ahead at my brother's stacked boxes of bulk grains, i'd jump off and run laps around the room, wincing a little when passing the shelf holding the 80s-era radio (the kind that only plays radio and has an antenna). wincing bc, on each pass, my right or left ear (depending on which direction i ran) was blasted with various versions of "all i want for christmas is you" or that karen carpenter holiday song i despise (those two seem to be on permanent rotation). i have to turn it up really, really loud bc i can't hear it across the room over the whirrrrrrr of the treadmill, nor will that particular station come in unless the volume knob is turned past a certain point. codgy contraption it is.
at some point on the treadmill, maybe mid-justin beiber/mariah carey duet, i thought about my bare belly, how the skin is nearly as tight as it used to be, before zion. nearly, i say, bc previously it was stretched over my middle section tight as a canvas. i thought about how much more belly i had last year. not had, but held. as my beanie (zion didn't have a name until the day he was born) grew and grew, my belly pulled and pulled on my back and i had to clasp my hands around it while i walked. at some point in mid-december, my belly was so full of baby that my fingers barely met at the bottom.
unlike last year, last night i didn't pass a pile of pitbulls on a pile of old blankets next to the stairs. last night, joker and phaedra were still outside in their houses. and my kaiser was, is, gone. my kaiser, he was not just my pet but a time in my life. he had my heart in such a way. do i believe in soul mates? human-dog, yes. human-human, no. the human soul can't meet its match or its complement or whatever the word "mate" assumes. i find it ... hmm ... funny? strange? to say i could see my traits in my dog, but i could: quirky, and either distant or effusive, depending on who/what/when/where. missing him is long and lasting. when i think about him for too many seconds, it
brings a sharpness and impending wetness behind my eyes every time.
the basement is full of last december. during the last weeks of my pregnancy, it seemed my due date was moving toward me rather than me moving toward it. i was merely walking laps in the basement, biding my time. i remember exactly how the weight of my belly felt against my fingers and exactly how i'd spend most of my 30-minute walk trying to reconcile myself w the fact that there was someone 12 hours away who had gotten away w a backward form of asshole-ism that to this day still escapes my forgiveness. oh, did i just write that out loud? am i going to leave it there, just like that, for everyone to see? yes. today i'm duct-taping the mouth of my inner diplomat and using the one curse word that can actually function as an apt adjective. let the choice of words mirror the truth of the action.
man, y'all, this coffee they're brewing at panera smells good. way better than it tastes. but maybe i like it that way ... the buildup, then the letdown. mom told me recently that i like to struggle, that i have this "need to do everything on my own and not need anyone." what can i say? independence, like brewing coffee, smells good. and while independence doesn't always taste good, it ultimately tastes just right. does that make sense? it does to me. i need to taste it again. i should get out of last year's basement first, huh. work to do, work to do...