Sunday, 8 June 2014

The Stabbing Machine

"Where is it?" he shouts. An angry three year old boy with skinny legs, indignant upon the sand.
"Where is what?" I ask.
"My stabbing machine," he replies.

A thin slice of stone. To make long, deep matching dents in the sand.

Stab, stab, stab. Driven by something endlessly mysterious to me.
And yet familiar.

The stabbing machine.


I think about his big sister so often. My first baby.

Yet I could not, if questioned, articulate what it is that I am thinking about.
That poor little body, that tiny baby that existed so very fleeting-ly?
Not especially. Not often.

The hypothetical teenager? The Georgina that I see in every-girl.
Every self consciously turned head that matches my stare.


"Why are you staring at me middle-aged woman?"

"Well, my love. I had a baby who died. She'd only be five now but I seem to imagine her most frequently as a teenager.
I don't mean to look at you so. But I wonder.
Would she have been like you?"

The way that you and your boyfriend stroll across the road.
Your laugh, the way that your chin protrudes reminds me of her.
Your curly hair, so like her sister's.
Arms wrapped around one another.
I am looking for her arms you see.
The arms of my first baby who never really was.

It isn't half as sinister as you might imagine.
I am not mourning the me that was you. My own slim, shiny self.
I'm growing foetus arms to length. Strength.
Her arms.
To wrap around some skinny young boy.
Whom she might have loved.


This blog often feels like an admission of failure.
Every post, a defeat.
A stabbing machine.
Constructed and manned entirely by me.

Through the haze of blessed, sleep-less nights.
Of children that stir and wake.
Who ask for milk and comfort and endless stories of pretend.
Mr McGregor. Princess Celestia. Asterix. Cat in the Hat.
I will be them all. Reluctantly I admit. But I will try.
I will wake and hug and be grateful.

I miss her.
And I don't know where else to go.

In the real world. Even here.
Everybody's kindness is  . . . . worn out.
But I still miss my tiny first daughter.
My Georgina.