I have nothing to wear. Seriously. Well, not seriously like a closet bare but for a roll of paper towels and scotch tape, but seriously, in like, none of my clothing fit me. I don’t want to buy winter maternity clothes because IT ISN’T WINTER (ya hear me sky?), so I’m stuck, between wearing leggings with flats, a combination that accentuates my newly—inflated profile, or yoga pants, which really need to be washed, with sneakers. Vanity triumphing hygiene, I pick the yoga pants, hopeful that nobody will sniff my thighs. I pair them with a thin grey turtleneck, which creates an outfit as harmonious as a pile of ketchup on a slice of banana cake.
Then, I catch the train into Manhattan, and walk across the city, pretending my choppy strides somehow substitute for the cardio I’ve been skipping lately.
On Broadway, I pass the orange awning of Grinch*, a bar and restaurant. I always have the urge to go in, when I pass here, but I rarely do. All the people I used to know there are gone, in the nomadic ways of food industry professionals. Once, last year, I went in for dinner and I recognized the runner (the dude who brings your food the table from the kitchen).
“Jackie, it’s me!” He was a sweet Chinese guy who used to joke that his name was Jackie Chan. He didn’t recognize me at all. Even when I told him who I was, that I used to bartend at Grinch, years ago.
It’s been seven years since my last shift at Grinch. I think my urge to go in now, every time I pass, is driven by an impossible hope that I might find myself there, twenty two years old, shaking martinis in a low cut blouse, my hair sliced into a fauxhawk, chatting with the regulars, fretting about how I would fit in, in this new secular world I was a part of.
“It’s going to be ok,” I would tell myself, reaching across the bar to put a hand on my bare arm. “Everything is going to work out ok.”
Unfortunately, you can’t go visit with the ghosts of the past, although I do think we carry them with us, our various previous incarnations, dwelling in the back of our brains. So, as I pass the big windows that I used to look out of, worrying about my life, wondering about my future, I let myself talk to that previous me.
“Here I am,” I reassure my old self. “Here I am, pregnant, safe, stable. It’s all going to happen for you, it’s all going to happen in time. Don’t worry. It’s all going to work out.”
Then I walk on, in my dirty yoga pants and stretched out turtleneck, deeper into the city, beyond, into my day.
*not its real namePrintable Version