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San Francisco
I will remember Robert MMiller

October, 2011,Tbilisi

I will remember old zita with red hair

I will remember loud heart beats from the tone machine

I will remember empty corridor full of husband

I will remember Henry Miller

Pains come in the middle of the night, I wait for them to grow, they do and I leave my warm bed. Bag is packed with few one use panties, night gown, diapers, toothbrush, sleepers , documents! and baby stuff, almost everything  that’s listed on the pregnancy card. I dress up, grab the bag and wake up husband. We pack into a car borrowed from his parents for such expected occasions and drive to hospital. Its summer, but cold, streets empty, emergency doors locked and we push the ring down long, pains seem to grow.

 Slow and calm Zita comes, waves her colored hair and leads us from corridor to corridor and the room, it’s all empty, where are all these blown up women I used to meet in the streets, why don’t they come and scream and shout, even birth house in this country is silent.  Zita lays me down for recording baby tones, the least of all I want to lay. Zita speaks a strange language for me, like everyone else in this town, she gathers short info about me and heart beats go on, louder. Boy or girl she asks. Girl I say. She is all fine. Zita calls a doctor. I am sent to bring my document from the car. My permission to live, passport and pregnancy card, that proves that I am in the right hospital and I pay, yes I pay for everything.

Zita is kind, she doesn’t want to bore me and puts me down on that leather chair and a small heart starts beating on. This sound pleases me a lot. Doctor comes in. a man, that’s good I think. we definitely woke him up and he’s not happy about this at all, he is not talkative and friendly either and lot of other things that he could kind enough to be, he is not. Undress, he says. Everything? No, like with a gynecologist. I crawl up that tall chair. Put your legs up, one here, another here. Ok. Wider. You have been to check up, right?! Well, he is precise, professional, I’m confused. Wider, repeats. Puts white gloves on. I take my two fingers he says, shows me two fingers. Yes. Two fingers, repeats. Take four if you wish I think. He stokes them into me. and turns around. Robert Miller, I read his name on the white gown, is attentive. I remember about Henry Miller, that pleases me somewhat. Dress up, Robert says. Open on two fingers, that’s not much. Do you have pain? Yes I say. You don’t look like you have pain. At this moment pain seems to grow. Dress up, he repeats, sits down. Zita brings my papers and a long questionnaire, Robert is worried. I am not citizen, I have no insurance, who pays for his two fingers service and who am I at all. Thanks god husband is local, yes, yes it’s a private birth, we pay for everything.

And now Robert starts with questions. He wants to know everything, last menstruation date, is it first pregnancy, how did it go, when did I lose virginity, how was it, do I protect while having sex, any diseases, allergies, genetic, not genetic. Asthma in childhood? And how was it cured, how does husband’s sexual behavior, doesn’t he cheat? isn’t he violent, I hardly get this question. Robert wants to know a lot more about me, than I myself do. Besides, he doesn’t let me forget, that I am a foreigner here, and he doesn’t really like foreigners especially from non European countries, that come here, marry and get pregnant, to get a visa and permission to live. So he asks every question first in his language and afterwards translates it to Russian. He doesn’t like Russian either and does this so quietly, that after every question I have to say ‘what?’ ‘what’ and he doesn’t give up being precise with terms and professional about advise to lay down in pathology department and wait, maybe day, two, until I’m ready. I look at angry Robert miller, that probably hasn’t even heard of Henry and as he turns the pen in his hand waiting for my signature, I feel nothing pathological, not even a slight pain, not a slight will to stay here. I decide to go home; Robert drops the pen and walks out to sleep.

Air is fresh, the city is beautiful as never, lazy cars drive by, Bazar workers are starting to open vegetable stands and husband gets into humorous mood. Thanks to false alarm, we go into the bed that is still warm, while poor Robert is trying to get asleep on his sofa. 

Posted by Ana Tsimintia on 3/30/13







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