Saturday, October 30, 2010
The TV was on and its volume was turned very low. I watched the bright Technicolor images move across the screen though eyes that were almost ready to shut. Letting my body melt into the plush suede cushions, I held the remote in one limp hand, ready for another attack of toothpaste and car insurance ads.
In front of me, people in bikinis and board shorts were furiously diving through a pool of mud, frantically rooting through the mess for little bags of sand in an attempt to reach the blue finish line ahead of the pack. As the screams of the contestants came through the living room speakers, I heard a faint sound from the other room, something foreign to the sound of cheering and sloshing that came to me through electric magic and science, or science that was so amazing, it was magic. Aiming the remote at the cable box, I turned the volume even lower and strained my ears for the sound, had I heard something?
Waiting…fixing my eyes on the hardwood floor…waiting…there it was, a little cry.
I left my embedded place on the couch and opened the door to the babies' room, where two dark wooden cribs sat against opposing walls, perhaps clearly defining the roles they would one day assume when they were grown men and left their wooden cribs and baby blankets.
Jonas, the six month old and the younger of the two, was crying. As I looked into the crib, I saw him on his back, his little legs wriggling in his sleeping bag-like-jumpsuit that covered both his legs. His tiny hands were balled up in fists.
Reaching into the crib and pulling his little body towards mine, his cries came up to envelop me. He was unable to clearly say what bothered him, but something was not quite right. Was it the lack of light? Was he lonely in his crib surrounded by only darkness and tall bars? I brought him to my chest, covering his body with my arms, stroking his head of thin silk hair, bringing him as close to my heart as I could.
I remembered the song practiced years ago while standing in a circle of three in a dimly lit room, it was the melody I strained to reach when it leapt up the scale. I sang it here now, in this dark room. I sang it for Jonas, ‘nothing ever has happened, nothing ever will happen…”
Over and over, the two line song came out, reaching up and then descending only to start over once again. He stopped crying quickly and I held him in front of me, propping his jumpsuit covered legs on my stomach. Jonas looked at me with alert wide eyes, eyes that were quickly turning from baby blue to a metallic brown. He wiggled slightly, his body bobbing and moving with currents of electricity and unanswered curiosity.
I stopped singing and looked into him, seeing nothing that can be explained, defined, or understood.
“You know,” I said clearly, “nothing has ever happened, nothing ever will happen.”
His eyes widened. We went into each other then, me looking into him looking into me. I understood it. Him looking into me looking into him, understanding.
There was no woman, no baby, no crib or parents at a party. There was no game show on a television in the other room and no sore muscles from a day standing in the sun.
Here the words made sense, in a chamber of feelings without words. In this place, we were the same thing, two parts of the same fabric, not separated by bodies and memories or contorted into a canvas of unequal shapes and designs where egos dance.
I had spoken and we both had heard. His sudden jolting was mine as well. Oh yes, nothing has ever happened. Nothing ever will happen. Nothing ever has. Nothing ever will.