Flashbacks – Egads!

Egads!

“A Formal Feeling”

by B. Gleed

 

She didn’t smile and she didn’t look at me when she opened the door to the beige examination room where MJ and I were waiting. It was then I knew it wasn’t good news. You can’t miss good news on a face. A face that’s got good news to tell you lights up like dawn, its eyes uplifted and ready to meet yours. Bad news looks at its own shoes, and the doctor just couldn’t quite make eye contact when she first opened the door. Thud. That’s how I’ve always felt when a doctor doesn’t look at me like that. I sank in my chair and reached for MJ’s hand because I knew that hers would be seeking mine as soon as the doctor said what I was now sure she had to say. We had just come over from the hospital where MJ had just undergone a strangely silent ultrasound. Fear confirmed is an odd thing. Emily Dickinson had it right when she wrote, “After great pain, a formal feeling comes—“ A certain discreet propriety surrounds the open wound and scabs it so fast the whole organism can survive, and only that little bit that you invested dies. I guess I feel like that now. Then, what is left but a mass of cells to be removed in a quick painless procedure? It’s a pretty common thing, as common things go, for two people to have an unsuccessful pregnancy. The funny thing is I don’t know what to do. I’m not sure what it feels like and I don’t know what’s expected of me. MJ is at work today, and she carries on, and I am amazed. I am sitting here at a loss for words. I was not aware I was looking so forward to playing with my two sons. I think he would have been a boy, although everyone I told, men and women both, about our pregnancy, said he would have been a girl. Harrison would have been his name, and he would have looked up to his big brother. He could have been tailback to Will’s ground-pounding fullback when we played “the Patriots are losing at half-time” game, each of us grimacing and rolling in laughter after the balloon that served as our ball as we blocked and tackled our way across the living room rug. I wasn’t aware that I was looking forward to that quite so much, and now that I realize I was, I’m a little surprised. I don’t know what to say to people. Men aren’t expected to be very involved in pregnancies anyway. I always said that “we” were pregnant. It was comical to watch the looks cross many women’s faces when I would say that. I would feel a little insulted. It was as if they said to me, “Yeah right, you’re pregnant.” Like they all think I wasn’t there for the back aches and the swollen ankles the first time we were pregnant, or for the surprise and delight of feeling our baby kick as he stretched for room. Like they believed I had no connection to our baby until he was running over me on the living room rug. But I was with MJ when she had her first ultrasound and I heard for the first time my son’s heart beating, and I was with her again the other day when the ultrasound told us the heart of our new baby was not beating any longer. Now, here I am. I was going to say that women need to give men more credit for understanding what it means to carry a life in your body, but maybe I won’t. I don’t know what it means to contain a life, but I do know what it means to bring a new life into this world. “The baby is growing in all our bellies!” was how Will chose to look at what almost came to pass in our family, but I need to claim this for myself. Every man needs to claim this for himself. We were pregnant, and now we’re not. I was there at the beginning and I was there at the end. Maybe men can know and understand many things about women, and maybe women can know what it is to be a man too, but if I don’t know what it means to carry life inside my body, I do know what it means to carry that life in my daydreams, and in my consciousness, and in my heart. Any man would want the credit for that.

 

 

Maelstrom Volume 1 Issue 1.

Maelstrom Back Issues – Volume 4 Issue 3 – 2003

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Contributors:

 

Jennifer Fennell

Barry Ergang

Yun Wei

Reid Bush

JJ Goss

Wendy Cleveland

Evan Kuhlman Petee

Shannon McGill

Leonore Wilson

Lindsey Palmer

David Musgrove

Stephen Page

Beth Cagle Burt

James M. Bellarosa

Chris Volkay

Gail Koplow

Joel Lewis

Mark Fitzpatrick

E. Anderson

Sander Zulauf

Mike Miller

Jeff Onore

Michael Gurnow

Skip Eisiminger

Donna Pucciani, Ph.D.

Dan Sicoli

Larry Rapant

Joshua Michael Stewart

W.B. Keckler

David Ochs

Nicholas J. Perry

R.D. Robbins

Rob Hill

B. Gleed

 

Maelstrom Back Issues – Volume 4 Issue 2 – 2002

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Contributors:

 

Susan Ellis

Jennifer Fennell

B. Gleed

Holly Day

Stepan Chapman

Kristy Bowen

BJ Ward

Mark Terrill

Rene Saldana, Jr.

Richard Jordan

Zachary Hudson

Nik Gruswitz

Gerald R. Wheeler

Robert Dunn

Russell Kremer

Mary Ellen Seidel

David Jordan

David Ochs

Alexander Chertok

Joyce Pounds Hardy

Christopher Wood

Steven R. Cope

Errol Miller

Mike Miller

John David Muth

Don A. Ryan

Stephen Malin

David P. Kozinski

Richard H. Fox

Joe Benevento

Patricia Dougherty

Robert K. Giesen

Don Kunz

Sally Taylor

James Bemboom

Judith Monroe

John Cantey Knight

Andrew Bomback

Annette Marie Hyder

Melody Sage

Jerry Gordon

Lucas Jacob

Mitchell Metz

Rob Hill

 

Maelstrom Back Issues – Volume 4 Issue 1 – 2002

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Contributors:

 

Jennifer Fennell

B. Gleed

Walt McDonald

Basil Cleveland

Alan M. Cvancara

Richard Alan Bunch

Susan Osterman

William Meyer, Jr.

Virgil Suarez

Corey Mesler

Taj Jackson

Karen R. Porter

Nathan Leslie

Fredrick Zydek

Jeff Onore

Kenneth O’Keefe

Ryan G. Van Cleave

Carolyn Adams

Carol Hamilton

Dennis Herrell

Mike Miller

Carolyn Anderson Miller

Mark Fitzpatrick

Mariana Ruybalid

R.T. Castleberry

Jim Sullivan

Dave Church

Jeffrey Alfier

Raymond Mason

Christopher Cunningham

Anselm Brocki

Gerald Wheeler

Paul Bernstein

Robert Necker

Zachary Hudson

Luis Cuauhtemoc Berriozabal

Lyn Lifshin

C.S. Fuqua

Laura Stamps

Theodore K. Krieger

Kelley Jean White, M.D.

Mark Wisniewski

Rich Furman

Rob Hill

 

Maelstrom Back Issues – Volume 3 Issue 4 – 2001

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Contributors:

 

Jennifer Fennell

B. Gleed

Robert James Berry

Kurt Rightmyer

Bruce W. Niedt

Joanne Lowery

Dee Rimbaud

Amy Munno

Ed Galing

Shoshuana Shy

Stephen Lackaye

John Grey

Linda Bosson

Gerald Wheeler

Stephen Jarrell Williams

Don Winter

Deborah Finch

Stephen Malin

Stephanie Dickinson

Larsen Bowker

Vic Campbell

Royce Sykes

Robyn Art

Lad Moore

Jeffrey Little

Mitchell Metz

Robert James Berry

James R. Whitley

Lisa M. Zaran

Christopher Locke

Allen Itz

William Doreski

Jamey Dunham

Mike Miller

Jennifer Johnson

Nancy Riggan

Steve Norwood

Joey Madia

Michael Estabrook

Barry Ergang

Patricia Dougherty

Frank Mort, Jr.

Rob Hill

 

Maelstrom Back Issues – Volume 3 Issue 3 – 2001

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Contributors:

 

Jennifer Fennell

Thomas Fortenberry

B. Gleed

Angi Becker

Gerald Wheeler

W. Gregory Stewart

Russell Rowland

Fred Longworth

Janet L. Buck

Mike Miller

Jeff Onore

Don Winter

Peter Magliocco

Mather Schneider

Jarret Keene

Jonathan David Levine

Mark Fitzpatrick

Mark Wisniewski

James Magorian

Donelle N. Dreese

Adam John Cooper

Janet Landman

Sean Reagan

Carol W. LaForet

Raymond M. Fremont, Jr.

Richard Alan Bunch

Brian Kees

Brian Bywater

Dennis Herrell

Charles Kassay, Jr.

Earl Coleman

Scott T. Summers

Bob Demaree

Joanne Lowery

Maggie Balisterie

Stephen Kopel

David Tucker

Doug Holder

Robert Lesman

Rob Hill

 

Maelstrom Back Issues – Volume 3 Issue 2 – 2000

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Contributors:

 

Jennifer Fennell

Thomas Fortenberry

Barbara F. Lefcowitz

Paula Grenside

Dee Rimbaud

Ron Lavalette

Janet L. Buck

John Moulder

Alex Kowalczyk

Derek Henderson

Michael L. Newell

Tom Pratt

Lisa Haynes

Ken High Country

Pete Magliocco

Rosemary J. Wentworth

Michael Estabrook

Douglas Cole

Gerald Wheeler

David Hovan Check

W.E. Butts

Raymond Mason

Joseph Verrilli

Gerald Zipper

Carol Hamilton

Albert Huffstickler

James R. Whitley

B. Gleed

Robert James Berry

Dan Stryk

Thomas P. Feeny

Laurence Overmire

Jonathan David Levine

Stephen S. Power

Mark Wisniewski

Charles Owen Lawson

Robert Cooperman

Ahimsa Timoteo Bodhran

Craig Butler

Peter Desy

Brian Dean Bollman

Barry Ergang

Dennis Upper

J. Kevin Wolfe

Richard Krohn

Rob Hill