Sunday, March 13, 2016
Me no pause
I was turning fifty. For the party at Mum’s I’d stocked up, filled half a drawer with paper pulp, thrown a t-shirt over the whole unsightly stash as a decoy in case Mum investigated, as she sometimes does, making sure I'm using the drawers she clears out specially for me, the same drawers I used as a child and still consider mine. Funny what you don’t want to share with your mother.
She didn't know I had been bleeding for sixty days straight and only stopped the week prior to flying over, the progesterone pills finally kicking in, hopefully not sowing the seeds of dementia in the process, presuming they were not already sown.
There’d been so much blood at peak times through those sixty days, if that returned the day of the garden party, with white marquee and matching furniture, it would be Carrie all over, only I couldn't blame my mother, at least not directly.
I’d have to leave the party running, get M to give some excuse, jet-lag, age-grief, something slightly less bloody. They could sing Happy Birthday to me through the window, a Rapunzel-type situation, only blood flowing instead of hair. If it came back in full force, enough to shoot the tampons straight back out into my hands, there’d be no happy about it.
But the blood never came. I turned fifty. They sang Happy Birthday to my face, smiling in spite of itself. We ate truffle cake, with me put in charge of the knife, so many slices I feared I’d never get one and might have to put the knife to a use less sweet; to draw my own blood, indeed.
Then we went home, the unused contents of that childhood drawer repacked together with regret and the accumulated gifts, none of it useful.
Months went by and I realised the blood was never coming back. I’d menopaused for my fiftieth birthday. Happy birthday!
But then it did come back. Regret and relief in equal measure. Me no pause not yet.