Sunday, June 29, 2008


She was wedged between the wall and six buxom Hawaiian dudes who obviously brought along their appetites. Once again, the hostess pushed past us, looking off into the distance, even as we reached across to tap her elbow with our excuse me's. She had told us twenty minutes over forty minutes ago, and we could taste the hamachi nigiris and the nigori sake. A table off to the far left next to the sushi bar has been vacant and uncleaned for at least fifteen minutes, and I positioned myself to intercept the hostess for her next loop. Another couple who had walked in before us stood up and left the waiting area in a huff, and I quickly eyed the emptied chair and looked over to the pregnant woman, motioning, do you want to sit? She smiled and pushed past the Hawaiian shirts. Her husband trailed behind her.

- What a wait, she said, as she smoothed down her skirt. The concierge recommended this place so we drove right over. I'm starving.

- But aren't your selections pretty limited here? I asked.

- Yeah, but my husband can't live without sushi...

I looked over at him as he gave me a what the heck shrug, and I thought of how we had avoided our favorite sushi restaurant for months until Jeff finally broke down and I dragged him over for his fix. I wondered if her husband was up to the task.

- We were here the other day, and we noticed that they have teriyaki, noodles, and things like that. I hope you find something you can eat, I said, feeling protective of her as I would toward a sister, a daughter, a friend, myself.

Her husband shuffled off to get a drink, and she yelled out for him to get her something virgin.

- We just got in from LA, and what a long flight. But it's our last vacation before the little one shows up, so...

That is what this was supposed to be for us too, I wanted to say.

- How far along are you? I asked, as Jeff pulled me in protectively and grabbed my hand to keep me from picking at my fingers.

- I'm in my seventh month. Just two more to go.

- Oh, how excited you must be...

I wanted to reach over and touch the round front of this woman I didn't know, run my hand along the taut skin to see how it felt to be pregnant so far along, and tell her that I was pregnant too until three weeks ago. But I kept my hand firmly planted in Jeff's because I didn't want to feel like that penguin in The March of the Penguins that covets the baby of another. Still, I found myself crossing my fingers and saying a silent prayer for her safe passage and leaning in closer to stand in her penumbra, as if to say, I am one of you...


  1. beautiful. i know that connection--then w/ all women pregnant and now w/ all women w/ young children.

    your time will come. when he/she arrives, it will be that much sweeter, and you will know that the one you have was meant for you and you for him/her.

    you will make an amazing mother someday.

  2. Oh wow. I know that. I can remember walking up the aisles in Target smelling the baby lotions. And now, after lots of miscarriages and three kids, it doesn't really hold the same allure, except that I still remember that feeling. Like the women who were buying that stuff had somehow figured out a secret that I couldn't figure out.

    It will happen for you. Sooner than you think, probably.