She's here. Where she nearly always is. She's here with me.
Often it takes someone else's words to help me articulate my own. I've been reading the Kite Runner, which in the first few days, I thought was a horrid book and debated giving up on it. The story of Hassan and Amir's childhood left me wanting to reach deep into the pages and smack Amir for the many ways he wronged his friend, no matter his intentions. But I stuck with it, other people's praises reverberating in my head....it's one of my favorites....I love it.....couldn't put it down.
Finally, I reached the point where the author switched to telling of the boys' adulthoods. Thank God. No more childhood atrocities. I smiled through Amir finding love in such a gentle, innocent way. I cried as he lost his father. And then....I groaned aloud
....as I read the words unexplained infertility. I tossed the book on the bed and gazed at the lazily blowing branches outside my bedroom window. I didn't sign on for this couple to be infertile. I was looking for an escape....from my own infertility.
After a few minutes, I picked up the novel again and began to read on, mostly because I was too lazy to get out of bed. Shortly after, I came across this paragraph:
"Sometimes, Soraya sleeping next to me, I lay in bed and listened to the screen door swinging open and shut with the breeze, to the crickets chirping in the yard. And I could almost feel the emptiness in Soraya's womb, like it was a living, breathing thing. It had seeped into our marriage, that emptiness, into our laughs, and our lovemaking. And late at night, in the darkness of our room, I'd feel it rising from Soraya and settling between us. Sleeping between us. Like a newborn child."
Somebody else's words conveying so eloquently the random thoughts and jumbled phrases that tumble around my head daily startled me. Somebody else summed up my marriage, my household and my heartache in one paragraph.
For the last two years, I've written a letter on our anniversary, just summarizing what our year has been like. I tuck them away in our marriage box for now but I hope to make an album of them for our children to read as they grow up and my memory becomes fuzzy. That first year, before infertility made itself comfortable in our spare bedroom that's meant to be a nursery, the words flowed off the page with ease, my love for my husband seeping out of every line. But this year, this year was different. I still love my husband in more ways than I could ever commit to paper and I'm beyond grateful for my marriage, but there's a hole, a hollowness that echoes in my joy. My infertility.
I have to say, infertility's a pretty sh!tty roommate. She doesn't do any chores, she's quite the Debbie Downer and she tends to invade my quiet moments. Let's call her Hannah because I always spell infertility wrong when I type and have to go back and fix it and also because, let's face it, she's a big part of my life. She warrants a name.
Hannah lounges about lazily when I attempt to do my school work. She interrupts incessantly as I try to meet a dealine for a paper. When I attempt my assigned reading, she wanders in and out of the office, playing with the highlighters on my desk and blowing hair from her face with her deep sighs. Anything to shift my focus back to her. Over dinner with my husband, she sometimes just sits at the table, begging to be noticed as I avert my eyes from her gaze. Sometimes, as I'm cooking, she peers overs my shoulder, her face closing in on my personal space. Worse, sometimes she stares at me when I'm alone with my husband, chiding me that no amount of time in the bedroom will make her pack up and ship out.
But sometimes, just sometimes, she leaves for a bit. Runs to the convenience store and I have a few minutes peace, a respite. Even better, on occasion she goes to see a double feature and leaves me a few cherished hours to enjoy myself and relax. But she always comes back and most of the time, she's quiet about it, sneaking up on me from behind and shouting boo! as she closes in on me.
These brief reprieves give me hope that one day she will leave for good.