Thursday, 25 March 2010

Pelvic Floored - FridayFlash

I cuddled up in the marital bed with a ciggy and my new book for some warmth and understanding. Just trying to reclaim some time for myself. To stretch out a little piece of night and smooth out the wrinkles of day. But my corporeal gristle has long since lost its elasticity ...

I was awakened by the familiar aubade from the room next door. But a yet more pressing stimulation, was the driving ache just beneath my shoulder blade. “I’ll be in in a minute Amy”. Valueless to a pre-lingual. “Mummy’s coming” Just perverse.

I groped for the novel that had become furled in the bedsheets. I bent an arm beneath my spine arched for access. Pain spasm. The throb of my shoulder now swamped by the mushrooming cloud of electro-chemical payload, radiating from the ground zero of my canted back. Click-click went the pain geiger counter in my head. Ack-ack came the less than transcendent neuronal response. And all the while, I seemed insensate to the stream of refugee signals emanating from that numbed tributary of the pinned arm, propping up my entire lumpy weight into the contortion. I don’t seem very connected up this morning. Except through a network of pain knitting me together. Oh, and my alarm-clock only reads five-seventeen am. Morning has broken me ...

Sure enough, there it was, my late-night abscondee. With several pages fed back at the edge into an earlier part of the story, shredding narrative flow. The contents less imprinted on my mind, rather now informing the sinew of my back. A feedback loop. Book-suffering-book-pain-book. Silently screaming, ‘Leave this nightmarish scenario! Get yourself out!’ “Coming Darling. Mummy’s coming in right now”. There’s your loop for you. A perfectly enclosed system. A vicious/virtuous circle. With the creased pages, the book no longer sat flush when closed. Feedback becomes distortion, when you’re plugged into someone else’s amplified instincts.

Feedback as the principle of engagement. Each child’s cry, a blip on the radarscope of parenting. The calculus of neglect. How many blips before targeting your response exactly right? Too few or too many, either proffers a lifetime of depth charged unforgiveness. But first, there is a mewling infant to attend to.


Thus does literature go the same way as needlepoint, am-dram and cycling. Replaced in my hormonal biochemistry by caffeine, nicotine and TV daydream.

My body shape has altered too. The mesomorphic legs of that cyclist peddling for all she’s worth, now distended to those of an endomorph.

On the plus side, having either to hoick about an exponentially growing child (or her exponentially regressing sister) in both arms; or performing a balancing act, bracing baby in one, while conducting some suddenly minutely calibrated task with the other, has toned my upper body.

However, my overall post-labour, stretched flesh-rather-than-muscle disposition, delineates a phenotype for me which could only be described as that of a fat blob. Regaled at the convenience store with “When’s it due?”, “Boy or girl?", until my blazing red eyes laser-guides their gaze down through the glass counter at Amy in the buggy.

I’m paunching above my weight.


Marisa Birns said...

Luscious, fecund, pregnant with goodness! :) Really loved the sentences leading to the rest of this wonderful piece.

Click-click. Ack-ack, indeed.

Writing about something so universal in such surprising curlicues of language made me sit up and say, "This is really good stuff."

Wish I could think up words more ingenious to laud your piece, but...

Pure enjoyment, this was.

ganymeder said...

I think I need to lookup a few words, You've expanded my vocabulary! :)

dijeratic said...

I love your stuff and this is such a playful pleasure to read - what might be a casual moaning tale of the exhausted mom, reads more like a poetic disturbance, the actualization of motherhood.

Gorgeous, as always.


Linda said...

Yup. That's how it goes. Morning has broken me... love it.

Interesting voice. She's one intense, type-a mama.

Michael Solender said...

I'm slow on the uptake but was so taken by the prose I kept going. Nicely crafted, truly.

mazzz in Leeds said...

ah, the mesomorph to endomorph transition - all too easy it is, even without having to reproduce for it!

"plugged into someone else's amplified instincts" - awesome.

btw was "cyclist peddling" intentional like paunching? if so I didn't get it :)

Sulci Collective said...

Um no it wasn't meant to be. Am now off to shoot myself in the head!

Carrie said...

Holy cow, YES I get this. I get it so bad it HURTS. This was profound in all its simplicity. Yes big words. Once they figure out what you wrote about. [conspiratorial wink]

Lou Freshwater said...

Me thinks Marc must have had a few giggles with the naughtiness and innuendo going on in his story, especially in those first few graphs.

There is so much to applaud here, but let me start with the perversion of the Aubade. Excellent.

On the second read, the whole piece seemed to settle in and come alive at the same time. You've really captured her frustration, her sense of imprisonment and being trapped. And her annoyance with the fact that she thought if she survived her body being taken hostage, she would be rewarded by having it returned to her in decent shape. The disillusionment that follows, and the fears of a future where it is not only her body which is lost forever.

I loved this, and I'll be back to read again.

Karen from Mentor said...

Nursing would have helped her drop the weight quicker, but alas, she would have had to forego the coffee and ciggies. But she could have held onto the trashy novels to curl up with in bed.

This brought me back to the whole new mom/new identity thing. I'm amazed that you [as a man] can capture all the subtleties of that loss/gain so well.

Well done as always.

Karen :0)

Virginia Moffatt said...

Had to read this three times before I quite got it, but got it I did. Having been asked when the baby was due AFTER I returned from maternity leave, that last line resonates...Well done for getting the post-natal mother experience so well...

Skycycler said...

Ripe postnatal plenitude. The corporeal gristle of your prose hums like a tune on a taut string, Marc.

This is well observed stuff, and extra impressive because I think you're one who finds infants infantilising?

But beyond your subject it's your words and what you make them do that makes your readers gasp. For me, I love how you smuggle in a hoick and a fat blob. Super stuff as always.

Laurita said...

I read this twice, once for the story, and once just to enjoy your prose. Exquisite.

Mark Kerstetter said...

I play a game sometimes. I look at the unique muscle development of passersby and try to guess what they do for a living.

I too like the way you sneak in a word like "hoick" or a phrase like "which could only be described as that of a fat blob."

Sulci Collective said...

Interesting that you say that Mark. I've get a section in another book, where the character guesses/gauges what people do for a living by their musculature's resting tensions as you say.

Thank you to everyone who commented this week.

Something a bit lighter in tone I feel for the next one.

estrella05azul said...

Interesting to see a man's understanding of this particular subject :)
Very nicely done!