this is difficult

ugh. i am having a much more difficult time with jared being out of town than i have in the past. & that’s saying something, because i typically don’t handle it all that well. but usually it’s kind of a fun adventure at first. i amuse myself by ordering pizza, laying around in my pajamas all day, watching crappy internet TV, & not picking up after myself. i live like a teenager, i guess. the novelty wears off before long, but this time, there is no novelty at all. i just hate it. i’m chalking it up to pregnancy hormones. even though i am doing okay physically & am totally capable of cooking for myself, running my own errands, taking care of charlotte, etc, i can’t shake the thought: “what if something happens to jared & i have to do everything for myself, & for the baby, FOREVER?” i have read that it’s not uncommon for pregnant ladies to get obsessive about the mortality of their loved ones. it’s not logical, because obviously something bad could happen to him in kansas just as easily as anywhere else, but–that’s the magic of progesterone, i guess.

jared tidied up all of his belongings before he left. he ran dozens of books back to the school library & cleared off the top of his desk for, like, the first time EVER. he put away all his rogue socks & threw out all the little bits of paper on which he scribbles library call numbers. what i’m trying to say is that he inadvertently eliminated all trace that he actually lives here. having jared around is an exercise in living among teetering piles of library books, sheaves of random papers that look like recycling but are supposedly very important, random coat hangers dangling from every doorknob, piles of shoes & belts & smelly soccer shin guards in every corner. it used to annoy the shit out of me when we first moved in together, but i eventually got over it. & now that it’s all tidied up & put away, i really miss it. i cried last night because the house looks like only i live here, albeit with a dresser full of clothes i don’t wear & a desk full of random office supplies i don’t use.

i guess i just need to find some ways to amuse myself while i am holding down the fort by myself. on saturday, after i dropped jared off at the airport, i went to bingo for the first time in months. sometimes i find bingo really stressful & anxiety-provoking, & sometimes i find it very soothing. i did win one game, but two other people won on the same number so we had to split the prize three ways. so i only pocketed $14. still–better than nothing.

an elderly couple from wichita was seated across from me & they were very friendly. i am always self-conscious talking to oldsters because i worry that they are frowning about all of my tattoos & everything. & having knuckle tattoos–i can’t exactly hide them. but they didn’t seem to care. they kept asking me if i was getting close to winning any of the games, & they told me all about their adult grandchildren. i mentioned that i am almost six months pregnant & the woman said, “oh, really?” do i seriously just not look as pregnant as i think i do? i feel like the bump is obvious, but no stranger has ever asked me about it & this isn’t the first time that someone has expressed surprise about the info. i’m not too concerned about it. ultimately, i prefer flying under the radar, even with its lack of preferential treatment, to having strangers try to touch my belly or lay a bunch of unsolicited advice on me.

a week or two before jared left, we went to the grocery store & jared saw that they had put out their display of fall pumpkins. he said, “oh, we should totally get a baking pumpkin & we can put it on the porch until it’s ripe & then we can make that pie you…oh. i’m not going to be here.” & then we both felt sad. this is our last fall as just a couple before we become parents. i would love to spend it making pie together & drinking hot cocoa or whatever. i keep trying to console myself:

* it’s better that he get as much research done now, before the baby is born, because i am going to enjoy solo parenting even less than solo gestating. & the baby will miss him too.
* at least it’s a good thing that he’s an americanist, so research just involves going to new england. we know a lot of people who study, like, spain or russia, & they have to go to europe to do research. which is probably fun in its own way, but extra stressful for any loved ones they are leaving behind.
* if writing his dissertation about new england positions him to get a job in new england once he finishes his PhD, then it will all be worth it.

i will probably get a pumpkin the next time i pick up groceries & make a pie myself.

Published by Ciara

Ciara Xyerra wrote zines for the better part of two decades. She has a brilliant & adorable preschooler named Ramona & sews as much as she possibly can. She lives in Lawrence, Kansas with her boyfriend. She enjoys catching up on "The New Yorker", meatball subs, keeping it cranky, intersectional post-third wave feminism, dinosaurs, & monsters. If you have nothing nice to say, she recommends that you come sit here by her, so you can say not-nice things together.

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