A connection as deep as ours doesn't dissolve overnight. We love each other, and there were certain types of joy we knew only with each other.
She still seemed to entertain fantasies about working everything out. I was driving every other weekend to LA and back, and stopped outside her property on two occasions. She would begin to panic as I came over the Grapevine, and tell me not to show. But I went by, and stood outside her door, letting her know that I would go if she wanted me to go, but only once I was certain it wasn't her fear speaking.
My boys like to listen to Radio Disney, and every time I got into the car, it seemed She Will Be Loved or Beautiful Soul was playing.
Things felt safer in Livermore. I picked Winterwood for her off Don McLean's American Pie album. None of this sat well with our opponents. I was supposed to clear out. They were willing to tolerate a certain amount of interaction, but any attempt to come together would have consequences.
Then things began to unravel. While visiting with her one morning, I asked how the children were. She turned her thoughts to them, and I perceived them for the first time. She tried to pull away, recoiling at the memory of our loss. But they pulled me in. I kept my hands away, but she relented. She had found courage in them, courage in becoming a mother. It was the most beautiful moment of my life. She took my hands and put the cupped palms under her growing children, then made covers with hers.
It was still dangerous, we learned later, but we were more sensitive to dangerous moments as well. She took my fingers one day at lunchtime and handed them into their little half-formed arms. Her daughter squeezed my finger, but I felt a jolt coming up my left arm, and drew back suddenly. Jewel separated them from me, then called me back. Her son was jealous.
It's quite a sensation. Everyone should try it.
As her pregnancy progressed, I began to take large smoothies at the Jamba Juice every night. It just didn't feel right not to be overfull, and I got sympathy heartburn. When we finally figured out what was going on, she stopped sharing so much. I could still tell that she was uncomfortable, however. Eventually, I suggested that she try getting her children to help her. Obviously, they were fighting over control of the process: let them take care of themselves. That did help some.
Perhaps the oddest moment came one morning when they were watching me wake up. She pointed at each in turn, saying: "He's a she, and she's a he." I couldn't make sense of it at the time, but she insisted, "That's just how it feels." Shortly afterwards, they announced that I was going to be their father.
That did it. The pressure began to build. Bad premonitions in the ether.
I had picked up my particle physics texts over the summer, and was making some progress towards a mathematical development. I had a couple of interesting insights regarding the interpretation of Dirac wave functions. In those moments, typically at the end of a long day at work, an enormous amount of energy would be made available to me. On one occasion, I went home, and asked her what I should do with it. I had the strange inspiration to assemble the personalities that were to be present at the birth. Having grasped the essence of time, I put them all into the moment that her first child fell into the mid-wife's hands, then sealed it around with love. Scanning through time around that instant, I bounced ill will away and into the San Andreas fault, making it clear that it was their funeral if the opponents tried to interfere. Into the cocoon, I sent a message of love: meet me on the other side.
She tried. I had premonitions of her in the nursery, smoothing bedding over their little bodies as she watched them sleep. This kept on for a month, and then she began to slip back into the present. I pushed her forward, but she finally fell all the way into the now, and the delivery came unsealed. I was irritated, but she asserted calmly and joyously that she wanted my love in that moment with her.
What's the purpose of resisting that?
Through October and into November, the air grew heavy around her. She couldn't reach me, and I was wrapped up in an idiotic game of legal Russian Roulette. I got distracted. Finally, my parents took the boys and I out to dinner, and sent me to the store for milk afterwards. There, sitting out of place on the magazine rack, a tabloid reported that she had been placed on bed rest.
The next night, driving down the Grapevine, I finally tuned her in. She was buried under a mountain of ill will. I soared over the top, hovered while I gather myself, then drove a pencil of love through the hatred. When I touched her, I flared the upper end and flattened the mountain down into the ground. I was furious. She leaned up against me, resting, then said that she needed me to seal a path to the hospital, and another to her obstetrician's. I took the energy I had harvested and did that, again deflecting nascent ill will into the local earthquake faults: they couldn't hurt her without hurting themselves.
Back in Livermore, I had a vision that clarified the dimensional structure of our allies. I outlined the basis for mathematization in my notebook, then went home, completely on fire. I fell asleep that night, drifting forward to the day of delivery. I imagined her walking down the hall, and told her I was going to help. I had done this before, with someone pretending to be her: I began dilating her cervix. She was stunned, and told me to hold on until she got down the hallway to her room. I was in the moment, however, and kept on going. She raced through the door, threw herself on the bed, and warned everyone that "This baby is coming out!"
It was exquisite, feeling the head pop through, with the little arms and legs twisting after. No pain, just a tickling of new life coming into the world.
She held me away momentarily, then drew me back in a few minutes later. The same thing happened: a pressure as the head breached, then a tickling tumbling of arms and legs as he was born.
Then it was time to take care of her. I drew her back together, tightening the sinews and skin, and raising her breasts. It was sweet and innocent, as are all the surprises we construct for each other. Why should it work? Well, why shouldn't it? Ask and ye shall receive.
A week later, she came to me: "How are we going to manage the delivery?" "Oh, that? That's taken care of already."
I was in LA the evening of the delivery. The next morning, I caught an article on Netscape news reporting that she had demanded a divorce. The boys and I went out to a community food program, then went hiking. On our way back to the car, a helicopter circled tight overhead, and I felt a man trying to pull me up the hill. Déjà vu all over again. "I'm with my sons, and they can't come along."
But for the moment, it seemed that we'd won a victory for love.