” I told him I hadn’t, but that I supposed you could make the comparison. I finished my cigarette and told him to have a nice day.
I’ve been teaching fitness classes and coaching triathletes for eight years.
But, I’ve only been at this motherhood thing for four months!
When I got back inside, Penelope, Louis and Keys all stared at me with a hybrid look of horror and humor. Slowly waking from a long drunken sleep the next morning, I confronted my sense of drama in the mirror, laughed at myself a little, then picked up the suitcase and headed out. They liked to keep to themselves, away from the hustle and commotion, coming out only to retrieve pieces of dropped pretzel or taco to feed their young. Maybe now and then they came down to retrieve a lost shoe string to help build their nests. I saw what had to be the mother pigeon flying overhead, around and around over her baby, who had obviously failed in the first and most pivotal task in life—flying.
I looked down at my clothes for a stain or something hanging from my belt. I walked into the store stealthily, head down and pseudo briefcase full of kitchen utensil weaponry. She circled in panic, horrified, as though trying to spin time backwards, to take it back—to not have cast her young out so soon.
Maybe a shit-stained piece of toilet paper was attached to my shoe. Elsa sat at the cash register watching intently, trying to make some kind of contact with me, her eyes both threatening and apologetic. She flew around in a three-quarter circle, sat on the nest for a second and repeated the cycle.
Maybe she too wanted to fall and die, but the immutable life-instinct of flapping wings kept her afloat.I wanted to pick up the baby and take it somewhere.But I didn’t want to cut the mother’s mourning short. One of the clerks at an adjacent store joined me outside for a smoke.His name started with something like a P, but I couldn’t remember exactly. P gave me a nod and lit his cigarette, took a long drag.“You ever notice how cigarettes sometimes taste like Captain Crunch?Whether your little ones are 4 months, 4 years or 14 years, they all demand plenty of your time and attention.