As I sadly prepare for my home to be foreclosed I think of my first and most primal of evictions. My birth, when I was unceremoniously cast from the womb.
On my birthday today, my mind naturally goes to my birth day.
Moments To Remember
I had taken up residency in my mother’s womb for the past 9 months and I felt entitled to squatter’s rights. By late March my lease was nearly up and an option for renewal was out of the question.
A creature of comfort I was unenthusiastic about the prospect of relinquishing the premises and would have been happy to stay put indefinitely. Despite the fact that the cozy quarters had become a bit claustrophobic and there wasn’t much of a view, you just couldn’t beat the amenities.
Regardless of my reluctance to leave, Mom was more than happy to serve an eviction notice on me. The date set for foreclosure on my “womb without a view” would be March 28th.
Like most mid-century mothers-to-be my all American mom had an all American delivery.
Thoroughly up to date, she was thoroughly sedated, and fastidiously prepped for “the operation.” Lying flat on her back on the surgical table, they strapped her feet in stirrups to make sure that she wasn’t going anywhere in case she changed her mind. Her wrists were securely tied to the sides of the table to prevent her from touching the sterile drapes when they were applied. Naturally, she was continually drugged. It was all within the bounds of the Geneva Convention, she was assured.
My very last meal while still “in utero,” the one meant to carry me through my big break out to freedom was a healthy dose administered to my mother of –“I -don’t -know -what -I’d -do -without it- Demerol” and “I -don’t -remember -nuthin’ -bout -birthin’ -no -babies-Scopolamine,” the preferred aperitif for the boomer baby.
As the drugs began to slowly take effect on Mom, a nurse soothingly encouraged her to think of pleasant, happy places. It wasn’t long before Mom was transported to one of the happiest places of her childhood- The 1939 Worlds Fair. Rambling on about “The World of Tomorrow” it was unclear whether Mom was speaking in a Demerol haze to the nurses or if her thoughts were expressed directly to me….. to somehow coax me on.
I could hear a muffled voice, like a recording, explaining the wonders of the future now only minutes away:
“Just beyond the darkness was the greater possibilities of the World of Tomorrow …New Horizons, new ways of living lay just ahead”.
Suddenly without warning, a great tidal wave of water abruptly washed over me. The peace and quiet of my little tranquil Garden of Eden was all at once rudely disrupted by a violent upheaval, followed by waves after waves of turbulence.
This was not a drill -reluctant or not, I knew I had to quickly evacuate the premises abandoning with it any hope of permanency.
How much time did I have, seconds, minutes, days? I didn’t know.
The search and rescue team had to get the job done if I were to survive. I panicked. Would I be buried or trapped in the wreckage of the placenta? Passages out might be blocked by rubble. Great tremors, dozens of them in a matter of minutes in many places at once. Then too a large part of my food supply might be knocked out. My water supply might be cut off. Normal communications might stop. How much time would I have to prepare? No one knew. Terrified, I set out on my first solo journey on a streamlined, frictionless highway.
Just ahead at the end of the tunnel, if I should make it, lay the greater possibilities of my own world of tomorrow
Then with a sudden whoosh, I was out.
Like a mole burrowed deep in the subterranean who first pokes his head out of the ground, I was startled by a blast of bright light brighter than the sun and the loud ear-piercing noise of the air conditioner sounding like the roar of jets.
I opened my eyes and suddenly today was the tomorrow my mother had dreamt about.
If I could believe Mom a new world was opening up for me at an ever-increasing rate of progress. A greater world…a better world…a world which always grows forward.
Never sure where Mom ended and I began, she now seemed far, far away.
And where is Dad in all this? My father, like all the other fathers-to-be, is nowhere near any of this.
Mid-century “Togetherness” was terminated at the delivery door. But unlike most of the other nervous, expectant fathers who were sent to the waiting room to pace and hand out cigars, my father retreated back home and went back to sleep. But that was okay because my mother was sleeping soundly herself.
No one, but me would remember my birth.