Hi hey hello this is a live journal post from 9/2005 when I was a few weeks pregnant & craving meat, old political pins, & OJ Simpson stuff.
The Inseminator and I celebrated Labor Day by waking up ridiculously early and going to a flea market. He suggested it the night before so there was no struggle trying to get me to wake up; I likened it to Christmas morning.
As soon as we arrived, I already saw the first item for my wish list. Imagine a regal and proud black grandmother, donning her Sunday’s best and finest pearls, sitting pretty with her head tilted to the left. Now, surround this vision with a giant gilded frame and you have what I covet.
“Why would you want a portrait of someone’s grandma?” Henry scoffed. “And look how big it is! Where would you even put it?”
I couldn’t help but picture it hanging above my bed, watching over me every night. Like a godmother. I was getting more and more attached by the minute and I couldn’t stop thinking about who she was. Was she even still alive? I bet she made a mean Sunday dinner. I imagined she was also in a gospel choir. It pains me that I’ll never get to eat her corn bread.
Henry dragged me along in spite of my warnings of, “Don’t jostle me; I’m pregnant.” We walked disinterestedly past table after table of rusted tools and crocheted doilies, until something finally snapped me out of my pout.
A stack of R.L. Stine books. And not those shitty Goosebumps books, either. I’m talking the real deal. Gems like “The Babysitter” (and the sequel too, I almost died), “Beach Party” and “The Dead Girlfriend.” I scooped up about eight of them (in preparation for my baby’s future) and held my hand out for Henry’s money. The man behind the table counted my change while a lit cigarette dangled from his lips and I kept leaning back further and further like I was competing in a stationary Limbo, trying to avoid the smoke. It’s amazing what a week of pregnancy will do.
As I happily tucked away the change in my purse, Henry disgustingly asked, “Why is it the only time you take out your wallet is to put my money in it?” It’s funny because it’s true! I love looking at the financial pain on his face. The way it’s been slowly chiseling lines into his flesh–ooh it makes me tingle. And then I realized that I was carrying a bag full of paperback books so I flung it at him and said, “You carry this; I’m pregnant.”
Playing the pregnancy card rules. Why didn’t I think of this a long time ago?
Minutes after pleading with Henry to buy me this fabulous antique wooden chair with a ten foot tall back (“It can be my pregnancy chair! I’ll sit in it everyday!”), I stumbled upon a table that would change my life forever.
It was a table displaying a wide array of antique political pins. And I wanted. Wanted wanted wanted.
There was one in particular that I couldn’t pry my eyes from. It was the size of a quarter with small silver balls decorating the black velvet edge and the face of some dude was in the middle.
An elderly man came over to help me. I stubbed my finger into the glass case and said, “This one, please.” He pulled out my pin and when he placed it in my hand, I felt goosebumps (and not the lame R.L. Stine kind).
“That’s from 1896, you know,” he said in between old man shakes. Ooh, the history–I could barely stand it.
“Wow…….who is it, anyway?”
The man laughed, which kind of made me mad, and said, “That’s Bryan. He ran against McKinley.”
I don’t doubt that my face had sprouted undulating question marks, but I still wanted it. “How much?” I asked. I figured I could learn all about this Bryan fellow after I bought it. Henry was standing off to the side, showing us his back. This is what he does when he doesn’t want me to see him laughing.
“Fifty dollars” the old presidential snob laughed, as if he knew this was too much for me. Well, he was right–this time.
“Oh,” and I handed it back to him.
But don’t think my dreams have been thwarted. I’ve already imagined myself wearing a black beret, boasting that pin on the front for all to admire. I’ll be back. I’m going to collect political pins now.
I walked away with my head down and Henry tried to cheer me up by reminding me that we could go look at the selection of junk indoors, and maybe I could find some cool necklaces. I wasn’t trying to hear it, but as we crossed the threshold to the building, I stopped abruptly and started sniffing with my head held high. That scent was unmistakable, wafting seductively around my head like a ghost trying to score some oral. This was pretty good considering it was 8:00 AM and the hot dogs weren’t even out yet.
“I want a hot dog. With relish.” I haven’t partook in meat for 10 years and now this dumb kid is trying to make me throw that all away? It hates me already, doesn’t it? “Man, I’ll take anything on a bun right about now,” I moaned.
Henry’s eyes were glazed with shock, but then he started laughing. Sometimes he’s just asking for my fist in his mouth. “Cravings, huh?” No shit, asshole, is that what that is? Thank god for Henry — not only is he a Professional Driver, he’s also a Professional Father. I can already hear it: “Well, when my ex-wife was pregnant…” or “When my original son was born…” Goodie, I can’t wait to have my pregnancy compared to his ex-wife’s.
And speaking of cravings, gone are the days of sour cream love. I ate so much of it that when we went grocery shopping over the weekend, I almost heaved in the middle of the dairy section. Then this morning, I had a fleeting memory of my sour cream and cracker meals from last week and started dry heaving into my soaped-up hands. Oh god, here it comes again.
I was starting to get angry and was just about to throw a tantrum when the perfect distraction, as if sent by god himself, manifested to my right.
“Oooh! Toys!” There was an entire section filled with stuff like Thomas the Tank Engine (in eighth grade, I signed everyone’s yearbook with my Thomas stamp–I was really into it) and old McDonald’s glasses. This corner had it all. Everything but OJ Simpson stuff, which is what I was really in the mood for. They had Pogs there, which made me think about my OJ Simpson trial Pogs. I even had this really elegant brass (or something like it) slammer that had a picture of Simpson’s face engraved in it, with “Innocent” across the top. I cherished that slammer, and then some jerk in my homeroom stole it from me because it made him “sick.”
After a hyper Chinese woman held me captive in front of her table for 20 minutes, tempting me with hermit crabs (I just bought another one the day before; I named him Dijon and he and Tabasco are getting along just fine) and bamboo shoots (“They’re good for your mind“), my heroic boyfriend came back and saved me (after ditching me to begin with) and we left to get breakfast.
“Is that good?” I asked as Henry shoveled sausage links into his gyrating mouth.
“What, my sausage? Yes.”
“I bet.” And I went back to silently eating my non-meat, non-taste breakfast.