dr. smryna, i shouldn't sleep
my little girl marnie came in last night while my wife sara and i were discussing an emotional detachment that had been weighing down on us since the conception of our second child florence—god rest her soul. marnie opened the door and found the whites of our eyes.
“hey, monster. what are you—" i started. but she interjected,
“can i come sleep with you, please?"
she appeared afraid; her eyes were swollen and a salient air of anxiety was all about her—she’s just like her father. her energy felt intrusive to me. felt like she was dragging some burden in with her—she’s so much like her mother.
dragging her feet only two stupid paces before stopping, heaving a tad as if to vomit, and turning away from sara and me, with slow, deliberate movements she pulled strands of copper hair from her eyes as she might cobwebs.
“baby, what's wrong?" i asked her sweetly. she didn't respond.
“love?" sara called.
at that moment, the copper hair pouring down marnie's back began spilling down onto the persian rug—the one my dad brought us from syria—in waves that would swell at the small of her back and crash onto the flowers and patterns swarming like roaches or scarabs at her feet.
"love?" sara uttered a second time, taking me by the arm but gazing right through marnie.
and that’s the moment it all came back to me. i remembered that sara had almost drowned in the water that broke between her legs on the 6th of february. and florence—i do often recall how my socks had been moistened.
but last night, sara and i were standing directly in front of one another, nude, at the epicene epicenter of our bedroom. she turned her focus back to me, and glaring intently she said, “i'm sorry."
“i'm sorry," i mocked. her eyes narrowed.
“you're disgusting," she said, just as my water broke. “you're disgusting," is the last thing i remember her saying to me.
“well, fred, there’s a lot there,” said dr. smyrna, her brow growing heavy and her heart palpitating.