Originally uploaded by o&poecormier

a year ago this morning, i woke up well before dawn in a tidy brown English hotel with jet lag and a faint gin headache, more from lack of sleep than excess of indulgence. i’d been circumspect, but careful.

i crept into the deco-tiled bathroom and pulled a thin plastic package from my bathroom kit and cursed the international moratorium on flying with scissors. i dragged the plastic open with my teeth, raggedly, balancing on the cold tile and trying not to piss myself.

victorious, i pried plastic from its plastic casing and peed on my prize, hand-imported across the Atlantic on the previous day’s journey. and then i perched on the edge of the tub and waited.

thin pink line. positive. and my hands started shaking and i whispered please. this time, please, let it all work out okay.

it was my thirty-sixth birthday.

like Gollum with his ring, i pocketed my plastic, uh, treasure and slipped downstairs by myself to wait for the hotel breakfast to open. a linen-dressed table, decaf in fine china, porridge with real cream and me with my journal and my secret, the only person in the world aware of the fragile blossoming within.

this morning, i woke with a slightly less faint headache to that same no-longer-so-fragile blossom squeaking and beaming up at me.

my preciousss, i cooed. my birthday pressssent.

poor kid. every year she’s gonna be stuck with my Lord of the Rings impersonations. at least by next year she’ll be able to share in my cake to ease the trauma.

it all worked out okay.