keeping pace


Sometimes I wonder if the way I love Django is the same way other moms love their sons. Only because it feels so much different. Or maybe it feels the same, but in a dark side of the moon way.

A few weeks before Django was born, his paternal grandfather called me from Chicago.

“I’m just looking at your chart,” he told me.

That being my astrology chart; he being an astrologist.

It was grey outside. My feet were bare. I was wearing this enormous sweater that I hadn’t taken off in weeks. My black cat Osiris, who would soon be dead, was sitting in the sill licking frost from the window.

I wasn’t much for listening to anyone on Django’s dad’s side of the family at that time, despite the fact that they were trying to help. Do the right thing. It was a just a weird situation and it would have been easier for me, in a way, if they had just left me alone.

There was something stringent in their approach, and I wasn’t up for faking convention. Just wasn’t.

But in this call it was almost like that was the point.

According to my chart, Michael said, I was going to be an unusual mother.

I stared at the Total gas sign; the backside of my apartment rubbed right up against the station.

Every morning at about four an enormous truck would come and pump gasoline into the ground.

“My chart says that? That I’m going to be an unusual mother?”

“You know, perhaps unusual is not the best word. Let’s go with unique.”

I wasn’t sure what to say. Secretly I took it as a compliment, but I wasn’t sure that’s what was intended.

“You don’t need to try to fit in, if that was a course of action you were thinking of taking,” he said next.

The heater kicked on, sending a tremor through the building.

“I hadn’t really thought about it much,” I told Michael. “About whether or not I was going to fit in.”

Michael cleared his throat. “Well, no need to try. Just be yourself.”

I tried to get my mind around the conversation. Fit in with whom, exactly?

“I have to get off the phone,” I decided.

“Right. Well. Best of luck with the birth.”

“Thanks. You too,” I answered, hanging up before noticing what I’d said.

In most areas of my life, I’m flighty. Halfway there. I don’t mean to be. I’m just not that solid. I’ve got a lot of air, I’m told, if we’re going with the whole astrology thing.

And yet, somehow my love for Django stands apart from this.

On a surface whose ground is firm.

Where my footing is surprisingly certain.

So that, without my even doing anything, and no matter what else happens, my love for that boy just effortlessly keeps pace.


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