09 January 2012

The First Day of my New Life, the first time.

(...previous.) (Written ten years ago:) It was my first year at a Catholic university and I was young, alone and overloaded with class credits. I battled all-day morning sickness, worried about off-campus housing, living expenses, non-existing employment and got buried under school work.

After the initial shock of learning I was pregnant wore off and the heartache it caused my family subsided, I gave birth to a little baby girl at the end of that year, whom I cradled in my arms and named Aurora. I accepted motherhood and pressed on, signing up for and attending classes for two and a half years. I worked part time at a local fast food joint and tried in vain to make ends meet and pass classes while trying to fit in time for practicing my bassoon and being a mom.

Moving into the first apartment I ever lived in involved caravanning with my mom and her car and me with my loaded, rusted blue 1977 Ford at half past five in the morning and seven months pregnant.

It was not a vehicle I cared to have, but I didn’t have much say in the matter and was sternly told that it was not beneath my station in life to drive it. I had to take what I could get because I didn’t have the money to complain and my dad had scrambled to doctor it up for me just the previous day.

Before there was even light in the sky, we were already on the side of the long highway, frantically discussing how bad I was speeding because the speedometer had been reading 10 to 20 miles per hour lower than what I was really going.

I tried to adjust to one comfortable speed so that the vinyl recliner and flimsy TV stand wouldn’t fall or fly out of the box, but I was unable to get a feeling for speed in the dark; and the tarp which was barely covering the furniture whipped sharply in the wind, so we had reason to regroup.

It was scary as hell. Mom was as equally terrified watching the contents in the back of my truck wobble, so she took the lead and I was able to calibrate my speed somewhat by following her Grand Marquis.

We were able to complete the 400-some-mile trip and start unloading by two-thirty in the afternoon. Setting up the apartment itself was not without scuffle. The couch that went with a hideous, 70’s era set of furniture we bought and scrounged up that day had to be shoved through the door, nearly busting the door frame, this worried mother and I working together with my six-month belly in between us; and the pizza guy was two hours late with what became our free supper.

We cleaned up beer bottles left by the previous tenants (who were evicted because of such related activities), mopped the floors and tackled the bathroom. Meanwhile, and not to our surprise, the oven was immaculate.

At close to two in the morning, we finally crashed on the only bed in the apartment only to lay there wide awake with late-night fears of the uncertain – my mom worried about her pregnant daughter and questionable means of transportation while I worried how I would fare completely and totally on my own without a job to speak of and no money in any other account.

So we sat up in the dark, grabbed a deck of cards and played a few rounds of 15 In a Pile until we were too exhausted to think about it anymore. An hour or so after dozing off and much to our horror, the phone rang. Though it had been plugged into both the electrical and line socket, the service wasn’t set up to work until well after the next day.

We debated momentarily whether to answer the phone or leave it, but the incessant, unending ringing made us pick up to silence on the line. The perfectly harrowing end to a perfectly harrowing day.

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