The energy which swelled in my chest when I opened Tracy’s front gate and walked up her path was enormous. I had never felt anything like it before it in my life.
I had never wanted my father to come home so much, that I felt this; nor my sisters, nor had I wanted to see aunties or cousins, or school friends – and Mum? She left too soon before I could assess what energies I felt in her presence and absence. There was a vague admission within when I thought of Mum, that maybe I did love her: I know I do.
The discovery of love through a tiny human being was miraculous, to me – to who I was. I had thought as a teen that I might discover love via a man, with none of the boys who groped for satiation through my body being capable of it. Then when I married at 19, although I told my fiancé-to-be “But I don’t love you”, and he hushed, “You do, you just won’t admit it to yourself because of your numbing childhood”; well in marriage, I thought I might discover love through time.
But love did not come in time. And it did not come to my door when I left the marriage, neither in the form of Stuart the private investigator, my lover two years, nor in the form of any of the men I held between working at the casino, voiceover studios, acting jobs, court reporting. It did not even arrive in the form of Chris, the confident, Asian man with a bent for western ways and western women, pony-tailed, masseuse, quoter of Confucius.
Love did not come to me, to my life, to my heart – and that was fine, because I did not need it. I was fine without it, writing to my sisters the lighter news of my days, being forced to hug them when we met across the country at holidays, feeling nil; viewing my father ageing, with no memory – or perhaps denial – of what he did to me.
Love was never present on any dates, in the music of glasses clinking, eyes shining brightly going blurry, stumbling down alleyways, being thrust against a wooden fence, giggling as a branch of life from some beautiful tree poked me in the ribs. Love was nowhere to be seen as I pushed the branch aside, and fell open my mouth as lust whet his wiles, my ways. Love was absent in the thrust of his passion and mine together, my lips against the wood, hands at each side of my face. Love had not dripped in my knickers we abandoned in a spray of grass at the foot of the fence, when a back light turned on and we heard footsteps, escaped gasping down the lane, holding hands, me bending down to take my shoes off for faster getaway.
Love wasn’t there when I lay alone in bed the next morning, stroking the cat, wondering why I existed.
And then it brought me to my knees.
One 24th of January at 9.39 p.m. I held a life in my hands, borne of my own womb. In the quiet hospital bedroom – Glen who filmed it gone; Trevor who held my hand and the midwife gone; a tiny life breathed amidst blankets on the large double bed. It sort of snuffled when I leaned close to feel the life’s newness, and more preciously than a 1000 kilogram nugget of gold I beheld this life, and surged from me – and surged from me now as I stood at Tracy’s door: love: pure, utter love.
Of all … I had in this tiny being, discovered love.
It was AWEsome.
Copyright, Noeleen&Daniel 50/50