when one wonders if it's a good idea to start smoking again.
The scene: in bed, 3 a.m., baby wants to be fed, but no way can baby be hungry, baby just got fed at 2:30, baby's diaper is clean, oh, but now, baby has peed all over "sleep sack," all over sheets, so much urine out of such a tiny infant, quiet baby, please be quiet baby, shush baby shush baby shush. Take her, the wife says to her husband. Finally. Exhausted. This same song since 8 p.m. Take her before I throw her. Husband, in despair, not believing wife could say such a thing, husband who sleeps on the side of the bed where he can't hear every cry and grunt of infant, husband who knows wife will wake up to comfort infant, will pick her up, latch her on, let her pee anywhere she pleases. Wife tries to comfort husband: You know I would never throw her, and of course she wouldn't, I wouldn't; she's read it in all the millions of books: this is a normal feeling: it's that 3 a.m. feeling, that oh my god what if my bones fall out because my skin's too tired to hold them kind-of-feeling, that I've stared at you all day long little girly bird and I love you more than anything in the world so can't you let me sleep for one hour straight kind-of-feeling, that barter-with-God, barter-with-self, barter-with-child (I'll let you stay out all night for prom! Please just forty-five minutes). Husband says, Maybe you should give up dairy. Wife imagines pouring the milk down the drain, walking around the corner to the deli and bellying up to the counter for a pack of smokes, make that two, ah heck, just throw in a third. Gave up dairy, she could say when her husband came downstairs and found her burning wildly on the couch: her head on fire, her heart aflame, smoke seeping out of every inch of her. Gave up dairy for good.