A much different post, one I wrote 9 weeks ago, but couldn’t put out at the time for reasons that will become clear….
Hello, Poppy Seed. I’m six feet tall, 13 stone, cynical, grizzled,and weathered through the frosts of 42 winters and 41 Summers. You’re a poppy seed. A smooth, perfect, untouched poppy seed.
Well, if I could see you, buried deep, that’s what I apparently would see. You’d be less smooth and more globular, pinker, I suppose. But at that size, and with my eyesight, who could argue at such detail. Anyhow, Poppy Seed, pleased to meet you.
Yeah, we met before. Earlier today, in fact. What to me is the merest thin sliver of time, to you; a significant chunk. I’d got up early and cycled to the BBC to give my opinions on the day’s newspapers. It’s a fun distraction that gets me out of bed at dawn, forces me to cycle down the towpath from Beeston to Nottingham, uninterrupted by traffic and lost in thought.
Today, one of those thoughts I had whole spinning my pedals towards the studio was inspired by the rough path, causing the saddle to rattle with a painful frequency upon my testicles. I had a weird panic that this was not something that should be happening. It’s now immaterial, Poppy Seed: your existence means that now I can subject my scrotum to as much damage as I choose.
I chose not to go home, but for a coffee. Ellie -I won’t introduce you, you’ve met – rang to accept my invite to join me. I got myself my caffeine-free coffee, she got a tea. She sat next to me, and we had a quick kiss.
“Didja listen?” I asked.
“Yes” she said “You sounded like you had a cold”.
“Ah, probably my mic technique” I pointed out, and was about to expand on this conversation about how I could never get it right, when she hushed me with an imploring look.
“I have something to tell you important. I need to talk to you”
All sorts of thoughts flew through, and I felt a nauseous imbalance. I’d had a writ. Someone had died. I was fairly hepped up on this morning, this dawn where the sun had risen with slow grace over the frost, burning it off, steaming the crystal-lit Trent. The ten mile round trip, parsed with the adrenalinised experience, I was awake, alive, so was ready for the news of whatever.
Before the following moment, I didn’t know you. How a moment can change everything. I’m sort of going to know you now until death, which I wholeheartedly wish – it’s only fair given my 42 years on you -gets me first.
“Umm. I’m pregnant”.
Everything changes and everything stays the same.
“I did a test. I was going to wait to tell you when we were at home, but I rushed out to meet you and didn’t want you to get home and find the test and think I was being…pointed.”
A billion questions. “But I thought….when? When did it happen? When will it happen?”
“Well, It’s early days, so let’s not tempt fate. Right now, it’s not even attached to me properly. It’s just a bunch of cells, rapidly expanding. Our child is right now no bigger than a poppy seed”.
So hello, Poppy. You’re terrifying, and tiny, and even though you have not yet got a heart to love, it is loved in advance. I am so happy to meet you.