This is something I wrote for the upcoming show Listen to Your Mother.
The idea sucks all the air out of my body, and I come to in the middle of Trader Joe’s crying in front of butternut squash ravioli.
My momma, how will I live without my momma. I feel like I won’t. Like that is the moment when I will just stop, when I won’t feel like doing or fighting or being what I want anymore. That I will just curl up into a ball and shatter into a thousand pieces of grief. That the world around me will no longer have the depth and joy that it did.
My mom thinks this is hilarious. “Gillian you’re being over-dramatic. It’s just a part of life.”
“Jill there’s nothing you can do about it. I’m not sick. I’m just getting older.”
“I hate it!”
I come home and see grey I didn’t see before. Movements that feel slower.
What will I do? What will I do when she is gone? This woman who can scoop me up in a way no one else can. Fathers and lovers and brothers and friends can hold me tight, but she can hold me tighter. This Southern woman with a soothing cadence that says, “What is it honey?” and I know it doesn’t matter what “it” is, but just that she is and I am and that she pats me the way she always does. One two three. Rub. And I let go.
Gillian, she isn’t dying. I know! I’m just…I’m getting older too.
I want more, and I want her to hold my babies if I have them. But I feel like time is running away from me and her and all of us.
I'm on the 10 year plan. And by 10 year plan, I mean in 10 years I'm gonna say, “Shit, I forgot to have kids. Time to steal a baby.”
I mean the only way I'm going to intentionally get pregnant is by accident. Whoops! Thought my IUD was my tampon.
I want to be the movie star I know I am, in time for her to see it. And I want to be as rich as I know I will be, in time to give her things that are so expensive they seem magical. I want to come into my moment now, so I have the freedom to find more moments with her. So that I am free to scoop her up when the time comes that she needs me. So I can hold her tighter. One two three. Rub. “What is it momma?”
And then I come to in the middle of Trader Joe’s crying in front of butternut squash ravioli.
“I’m fine. I just feel strongly about winter vegetables.”