I vowed that today would be the day I got back to writing. I reminded myself of this goal as I went through the routines of my morning: I tramped through the slush leftover from last night’s storm and thought “I will write today”; I squeezed in next to the furiously sketching man on the crowded metro and reminded myself, “I will write today” ; “Today is the day”, I promised myself, and disregarded the passive aggressive complaints of my art classmates as we jostled for a spot near the model.
And now I’ve made it home. I’m in front of my computer. But all I can think about is how hungry I am.
Oh, it’s a trope, the hunger of pregnancy. There are countless internet forums where women describe their hunger: ravenous, midnight snacking women doubled over from the early contractions of hunger pains. I read them looking for a description of my own hunger, as though hunger were a new sensation. Of course, it isn’t. But, as a woman who spent some of my young adulthood curating a taste for the empty satisfaction of restraint, it has been illuminating to be so relentlessly reduced to the most basic needs of my organism.
I can’t find a description of my hunger on the internet, because my body only became a cliche when I decided not to listen to it anymore. Now I’m listening: for me, being pregnant has been an insistent invitation to feel again all the things that I learned long ago to numb. My hunger is a pile of hot coals in the bowl of my pelvis, covered with grey ash. The coals draw energy from my limbs, creating a draft and blowing the ash fall away until they burn bright. When my hunger is strong I feel weak and sick. Eating can smother the coals for a little while. That’s what my hunger is like. Even though it sucks, I am glad to finally know it.