The two of us are connected by uncertainty

Brook Shaden @ F-Stop Magazine

Liz Scheid reflects on the complex beginnings of loss @
Flood lights between my thighs. My eyes, now slits, strained, glossy from the drugs. I see spots with each contraction. Daylight melts into midnight and the moon hangs like a fingernail.~It begins unexpectedly.I arrive at my sister’s house Tuesday morning. I’m here to watch the kids while she goes to school. She opens the door, half confused, her face half lit in sunlight. She tells me that she didn’t need me to come over today. She says she thought she called me. I stay anyway. I try to help her dress my nephew, but he screams for her. I feed her newborn a bottle. I tell her I’ll stay with the baby while she takes my nephew to preschool. I watch Regis. I fall asleep with the baby on my belly. She returns. She shows me some items on Target’s website. She writes me a check for money she owes me. She shows me what she’s gotten the kids for Christmas. She tells me about her dream the night before; she barely remembers it but knows that our dead grandfather was in it. His words are distant, cloudy.~It begins tragically.Recently I read the headline: INFANT DEAD AFTER MOTHER PUTS IN MICROWAVE. I can’t read the story. I don’t want to know. I mumble something about why she had the child in the first place. I try to stop there but my imagination runs wild: I see her pacing in the kitchen, the baby screaming, shrieking; she’s frantic, shakes his small body, yanks his arms; she can’t think straight; she doesn’t think he’s real; no he’s made of plastic; she tosses him on the couch but his screams are louder, piercing; she smokes a cigarette; she just wants a quiet house but this thing won’t stop; its mouth is open, bursting, red and wide; she doesn’t want it; she doesn’t want to see its eyes; she opens the microwave door—read more