DOZ Issue 39 January 2019 - Page 14

ANNOY Sarah Fehr I leaned my cheek against the cold glass, looking up, observing as if from a separate world the shower of bright sparks against the evening sky. A moment later, in the distance, a muffled boom echoed. Oh yeah, the Fourth, I whispered to myself. How strange that anyone out there would be celebrating…well, celebrating anything. Stranger still that had things gone differently a few days ago, I would have been out there with them. Slapping mosquitoes, oohing and ahhing, enduring the bone-jarring reverberations in the twilight. I turned my gaze back inside to the sparse waiting room. It was late enough that everyone had either gone home or claimed a hard vinyl chair next to their baby as sleeping quarters for the night. Thankfully, I had family nearby. It was time to go back to our temporary home, refill the air mattress for the night, maybe throw in a load of laundry, and then collapse in exhausted sleep. We found our car more easily than usual in the darkened parking garage. Must be the holiday, I thought as our doors thudded shut. We pulled out onto the highway with a growing sense of familiarity not only with the route but also with each other. Surprisingly, our newborn child’s birth defect and all it involved had drawn my husband and me closer together than ever before. It’s a miracle; I thought — all those prayers. Usually, stress was the catalyst for heightened emotions, misunderstandings and the cold distance between us. As we headed “home,” weary, I contemplated the sudden change. All the little things that used to raise my blood pressure seemed about as crucial as dust. Opening the washer only to find that SOMEONE had not put it in the dryer like I had hoped last night. Being treated to whiskers dotting the sink after an electric shave. Seeing my attempts at organization deteriorating bit by bit, day by day. Now it was all upside down. We weren’t even in our own home. We were borrowing a washer and dryer. He didn’t bother with shaving every day in DOZ Magazine | January 2019 our haste to get to the hospital each morning. Our small living space crowded with piles of clothes. One for his shirts, my shirts. His pants, my pants. His unmentionables, mine. Our dirty laundry. The piles shifted daily as if some giant were playing cards with them. I felt my husband’s hand in the darkness, warm in mine as we neared our temporary abode. All those little things, they seemed almost laughable now. Who cares? I just want our baby to live another day, I thought. I wanted him to eventually become free from the tubes, cords, and IVs that seemed to tether him to his hospital bed. Be able to come home, to our real home, to be held and snuggled as babies should. To use the new crib and changing table set in his room where I hung the little curtain I was so proud of making on my own. I heard the crunch of gravel as we pulled in the driveway, and somewhere I knew in the back of my mind that the days would come where once again the annoyances of life would plague us. One way or another life would return to some form of normal, with all the banalities that normalcy brings with it. Everyday life would creep in on us and swamp us down the road. But not right now. Not right now. 14