I never watch horror movies. Even the funny ones leave me too unnerved to sleep alone, and since I have mostly lived by myself for two decades I avoid the bloody things. I prefer the more understandable tragedies ofLaw & Ordermarathons. Plus I get to enjoy the fine form of the capable Mariska Hargitay playing the soft, yet dykey, and dubiously heterosexual, Detective Olivia Benson saving the world, one special victim at a time.
But at 28 weeks pregnant (and counting,) I am in the thick of Halloween. The movie channels are stuck on Halloween overload. I am still on bedrest, which means the TV is my best friend. But it is October, so I can't find anything to watch that doesn't have some bleeding face or slime-covered fang cackling at my fear of the un-dead. Everywhere I turn there is a haunting ghoul staring, or some lit lantern grinning sinister at me, and my impending offspring. Whenever I am faced with these monstrosities I can't help but think of my friend, Michelle, who doesn't do Halloween because she couldn't see herself participating in a celebration of evil. My friend, Keondra, has me reassessing our friendship when she tells me she can't wait to figure out her costume for this year. Even the advertisements are filled with fake cobwebbing and tubes of green slime, and to add insult to anxiety my next doctor's appointment is on Halloween.
I have never trusted the dead. But this aversion to the paranormal has become more acute during my pregnancy. If I even get a glimpse of some scary flick with a alien creature lodged inside a human body, or the ghost of some human child walking the halls of a home it once inhabited, I cannot help but to look suspicious at my own growing abdomen, pulsing and moving unassisted, inhabited by a strange being I have yet to meet. My imagination then begins the race down crazy road, and before I know it, I am certain that the moving being is not my child kicking, but the spirit of some murdered soul from Mars returning to earth via my vagina, to visit its revenge on the murderer who was never brought to justice.
Even before the scary dreams inspired by The Feast Of All Saints, I was a bit wary of this seemingly strange happening called gestation. (I have not allowed myself too much room to consider the birth.) I am ashamed to admit that even after nearly seven months carrying a child, the process of making a human being still feels alien to me. I experience it like something you would see in a film about things not human. And that scares me. Sure, I chose it, and sure, I want my child, but this part of the process leaves my practical/physically-rooted brain a bit befuddled. I mean, how in God's name does one deal with losing complete control over one's whole being? How do you plan for a phenomenon that is not easily managed with any known formula? When I ask my doctor why this baby has been so hard on my body, she patiently repeats what she always says. Every pregnancy is different. There is no magic cure for morning sickness stretching along the entire length of three trimesters. Nobody knows why a sub-chorionic hematoma forms. And no, there are no known explanations for the irritable uterus syndrome. And let's not talk about the hormonal rollercoaster. The emotional upheaval is a little like falling down a rabbit hole -- I'm never quite sure if I'm weeping out of joy or pain or sadness or all three.