The first twelve weeks of our Peace Corps training we had fairly extensive language courses: some Spanish but mostly Guarani, the Paraguayan indigenous/national language of twelve syllables and Kermit the Frog-like inflections.
One day I was paired with my good friend Bill and a girl we’ll just call Gertrude. In typical random language class fashion—maybe we were practicing the subjunctive—our teacher asked us to describe a movie we’d write and direct.
I immediately launched into how I’d make a monster flick, some sort of Godzilla-eats-Asuncion blockbuster. It would be great.
Bill, half theater major and half ragamuffin intellectual, described how he’d make a movie centered around the premise that gravity suddenly became completely random—one moment it’d just stop, and everything had to be stapled down or everyone had to be able to grab on to something or they’d float away.
When it was her turn to describe her movie, Gertrude just sat there. She fidgeted, and stammered, and couldn’t come up with anything. We waited patiently, and made gentle sounds of encouragement, then waited somewhat awkwardly, and Bill, trying to be helpful, kept saying: “Anything, it could be anything!” which of course made her stuttering brain die completely. After awhile the teacher came up with another lesson plan.
I keep on thinking back to that moment these days. Not to pick on poor Gertude, or for the pleasure of reminiscing about how Bill, afterwards and in private, was all worked up—She couldn’t think of anything! It could have been anything!—but because our lives these last few days have been like something out of Bill’s movie.
At any moment, at any completely random, completely unforeseeable moment, Kelly could go into labor.
Mama is ripe.
I’ve never experienced anything like this before–the inevitable moment coming, coming, but as to when we have no way of knowing. It’s kinda like having jumped off a cliff, falling and falling and it seems like the world has stilled, but even then you can see the water rushing up towards you. Maybe if you jumped off a cliff blindfolded without knowing how high it was?
I don’t know; again, it’s like nothing I’ve ever known.
And there’s really nothing to do but keep on with our normal routines.
Well, that’s what I do, at least.
Kelly has a new routine, which consists of sleeping, then eating, then waddling about a bit, then sleeping again.
Which is great—get it while we can.