At Tweed Heads
I'm late, says Mrs Zen.
Okay, don't panic, I say.
But already I am thinking, would I kill my unborn child?
It would have been easy five years ago but now I know it could be a little Zenella, an embryo Zenita, a Naughtyman in waiting. It would have been easy but isn't it harder now?
Engage your rationality, I'm telling myself. Remind yourself of the difficulty. It's just a minor thing now.
One I wanted; two was a stretch; three is already a burden that I struggle to throw my arms around. I know I love them but I didn't choose them.
Well, you can love a lot of things you didn't choose. I didn't choose England but I write in a language made for expression, so broad and rich that even the Greeks cannot match it.
I do not lose any sleep over it. I am too numb for it to move me. More than anything, I hate numbness, but I am feeling blanketed in it.
Do I hate it though? Wouldn't I welcome it if it were all there were?
Looking out over Greenmount Beach, I am thinking that none of this is of any consequence. A tide could come and sweep them all away, and me too. I am afraid of oblivion because I can't help thinking there should be a reward. But what for, I have no idea. We don't seem like things that deserve rewarding but we are only doing what our genes tell us.
I see in the paper that an Essex man has been made into fireworks. He liked watching TV and going on caravan holidays.
I have been trying to think what is wrong with that.
One line on the test. Mrs Zen is still late but there is only one line on the test.
As we are packing up the cars to go to Tweed Heads, we see T's mother. T is Zenella's new best friend. T has been very excited about her new baby. T's mother showed us the scans.
They were nuchal scans. They didn't do them when she was pregnant with T's older sister, also T. T's mother is telling us that, and we know there are dots to be joined up. T's older sister has Down's syndrome. She is a charming kid but you know that she is a huge burden on T's mother.
None of us wish for that. None of us want it. We shouldn't assume any right to judge those who have it and don't want it.
We are not sure why T's mother terminated the pregnancy. T says the baby only had one arm, or we think that's what she's saying. T's mother was not enthusiastic about the pregnancy. She was tired and sick.
There are fish jumping in Boyd's Bay. You could mistake their leaping for exuberance. It's just what they do though, night after night. Perhaps they avoid doing it during the day because they do not want the pelicans to have an easy mark. I am not even curious.
I am frightened of oblivion but I am allowing myself to die.
I like watching TV and I am staying in a cabin.
Bats fight it out in the bushes. They don't even notice us standing by the water. We are on the wrong scale for them to care about and we don't eat bats.
The stars are filling the sky slowly, one by one as the night grows darker.