Thursday, September 22, 2011

The Summer I Had Two Heartbeats

In May I go to Gettysburg and try to stop sleeping on my back. I keep it up until my hips feel bruised, then decide it's not worth it.

I walk on the beach in Montauk with night fog so thick there is no discernible horizon. I take off my rain boots and put my feet into the ocean for the first time of the summer.

In May I am careful about the photos I post.

In June I finish my first year of graduate school. I write a paper on the anxiety of motherhood in 19th century America. My mother says to me, don't get carried away.

In June I buy skirts with stretch and Annie comes for a visit and Shiloh has her baby.

I keep running.

In July I hike the Appalachian Trail. Some of it.

It gets hot. I keep running.

In July I start to swim.

My parents visit. I tire us all out.

In July I can no longer recruit my stomach muscles to sit up.

The last Harry Potter movie comes out, and it's wonderful, but feels like the end.

I go to Rockaway Beach and feel slightly conspicuous. I lay on my back for the last time for Summer 2011.

People, women mostly, start to give up their seats on the subway.

In August I stop running. I keep swimming.

Annie and Shiloh throw me a beautiful party.

In August I wear three skirts, over and over and over.

I finish school.

I am married to James for 7 years.

In August I see a hurricane.

In September I am alone when I cut my finger and sprinkle blood on my kitchen floor.

I have one outfit to wear to church.

It is 10 years since September 11th, 2001.

Allen gets married 2,000 miles away and I miss it.

A woman stops me in Target and makes a face at my choice of hospital.

A man crossing the street says I have a beautiful belly.

My pizza man asks how my parents are.

In September the summer ends.


  1. To get out of the house and, I don't know, maybe to be more like people I see on TV, I have started going to places to write. Which is how I found myself wiping tears away in Panera over how beautiful this was.

  2. I miss you. That's all there is to say. And I envy you a bit. Is that allowed? Please come visit as soon as you're feeling brave enough to cart that baby around. I will travel the length of my very long state to see you.

  3. I believe this is how nesting manifests itself in the blogosphere. Lovely, Ms. Val. You are going to be such a beautiful Momma; you are certainly a breath of fresh air wearing your skirts and your flowering belly.

  4. This might be the best thing I've read this year.

  5. I look forward to hearing about the arrival of this eccentric and well-read little girl. (I'm just assuming of course.) Please don't tell Grandma before 7 AM our time, sometimes she gets so excited that some of us get very early phone calls with baby news.

  6. This was beautiful! You are pretty much amazing.