The Little Review (littlereview) wrote,
The Little Review
littlereview

Poem for Friday


Stillbirth
By Laure-Anne Bosselaar


On a platform, I heard someone call out your name:
No, Laetitia, no.
It wasn't my train — the doors were closing,
but I rushed in, searching for your face.

But no Laetitia. No.
No one in that car could have been you,
but I rushed in, searching for your face:
no longer an infant. A woman now, blond, thirty-two.

No one in that car could have been you.
Laetitia-Marie was the name I had chosen.
No longer an infant. A woman now, blond, thirty-two:
I sometimes go months without remembering you.

Laetitia-Marie was the name I had chosen:
I was told not to look. Not to get attached —
I sometimes go months without remembering you.
Some griefs bless us that way, not asking much space.

I was told not to look. Not to get attached.
It wasn't my train — the doors were closing.
Some griefs bless us that way, not asking much space.
On a platform, I heard someone call out your name.

--------

Two for New Year's Resolutions drabble challenges:
lupin100: "In the Closet"
snape100: "Catalogue of Failure"

So I might as well admit that I'm seriously thinking about one of my New Year's Resolutions being no more fan fiction until I've cranked out a sufficient quantity of non-fan fiction. In fact the main thing stopping me is that when I swear off fan fiction, I tend to get so many ideas that they overwhelm everything else in my head and demand to be written; I learned this in Voyager fandom, I learned this again with RPS, so I don't want to do anything stupid. On the other hand, the frustrations and trivialities are really overwhelming my enjoyment on so many levels at present. I'm tired of the cliquishness, I'm tired of feeling like there's always someone else I should be sucking up to if I want to have interesting conversations, I'm tired of the fact that things I really work on get three readers out of everyone on the planet -- my totally crappy erotica on which I spent less time and for which I got paid had more readers than that. I'm suffering from a be-careful-what-you-wish-for situation because, after being huffy over one of those exclusive communities a couple of weeks ago, I'm watching the usual "watch BNF rec 20 out of 23 stories and leave off the three by People We All Know She Doesn't Like, pretending that quality is the qualifier" bullshit go on in one such community; I should have stuck to my instincts and told my ego where to shove itself. My sense that this is not only a stupid waste of time but a too-often-poor way to make lasting friends is overwhelming my sense of community and love.

The thing is, I often think I organize and express my own thoughts better via fanfic than when I write reviews...there's a different kind of satisfaction from fic, even when no one reads it. But then what happens is that I meet people because of a particular fandom or a particular pairing, and I want to keep talking to those people about those characters, and I feel compelled to write with and for them, until I forget what was compelling the urge to write in the first place. My very, very best friends from fandom are writers or artists, and I met them because I was a writer, and I don't want to risk losing that...but at the same time, some of the people I thought I knew and loved best based on their writing and art have also not always proven to be the friends I thought they were, and I don't want to end next year feeling as frustrated as I am this year. I know I can change the things that are bothering me, it's just a matter of having the guts to say, "I am doing this, I am doing it now," and if fifteen people take me off their friends list in a single day or send me annoyed notes or just plain ignore me, I need to be able to keep the distance to say that those people were not really my friends anyway. There's a piece of me that's playing the "one more" game -- let me just finish this story that's already half-done, let me just sign up for this one more challenge, let me just write birthday fic for this one friend -- but I could go on doing that indefinitely, and when does it stop? How does it stop?

I am not in the best of moods. In fact I was running around a lot earlier, and between that and the time of the month, I am decidedly grouchy. For the fun part of my day, we all drove my older son to a friend's this morning so he could work on a school project and the rest of us could drop in on agentirish and perkypaduan (who looks wonderful) and their cats -- in fact they probably think we talk about nothing but cats, as we spent most of the time watching my younger son chase Georgie the kitten and trying to coax the three older cats into being sociable with us, which was really quite amusing though I fear I was not the thrilling diversion I had intended to be.

Then we went to pick up the van, which is finally, finally repaired...only to discover that the insurance company had not yet cut a check and our choices were to shell out more than $2000 of our own cash or to wait! This is typical of the idiocy in the business, I suppose: rather than overnighting a check so that we can pick up the van before close of business tomorrow, which would cost them maybe $15, they are paying for us to keep the rental van over the weekend (at a cost of $50 a day to them) and sending the check via standard mail. It took numerous phone calls and a very long wait in the body shop to no avail to learn all this. I cannot think what to say besides GRRRR.

Finished out the evening taking younger son to violin, doing some shopping in the plaza near his lessons, watching Better Than Sex while folding laundry which strangely did nothing to improve my mood (am definitely blaming the time of the month for that) and trying to get caught up, again, unsuccessfully. Tomorrow it's supposed to be nearly 60 degrees and we are going to the Baltimore Zoo, so hopefully this shall revive me!


This plane is not, in fact, in The Udvar-Hazy Center but in The National Air and Space Museum itself. It's Amelia Earhart's Lockheed Vega, photo taken several years ago, but well worth a look.


And another look. In this plane Earhart crossed the Atlantic Ocean. Of course her Lockheed Electra is not on display, having been missing since she and Fred Noonan disappeared in it over the Pacific Ocean, but it still makes me feel good to look at this one.


Enola Gay, first to carry and deliver an atomic bomb in wartime. She's a beautiful plane -- silver and shapely. It's hard to hate her for what she was used to do, and at the same time it's hard to imagine what the world might have been like otherwise...how long WWII might have lasted, what the political situation in the world might be now. Same with the Holocaust for that matter...would there be an Israel had it not been for the Nazis? It's really hard to play should have beens or might have beens with history.


View from above of the aviation hangar in the Udvar-Hazy Center. There's a Concorde, a 747, numerous warplanes from all sides, some early experimental flight vehicles and a Blackbird.


Pan Am's Flying Cloud. This photo is here just because she's such a beautiful plane. That bit of Air France logo behind her is on the Concorde.


Among the more interesting artifacts are astronaut food that looks inedible, and, worse, the waste elimination systems (apparently astronauts nowadays wear Depends during spacewalks in case of emergencies). I have known for years that I could never have been an astronaut because I'm too claustrophobic to survive in the capsules, and it's worse up close to this one.


The disc of sounds and images from Earth sent up with both Voyager spacecraft. If you saw Carl Sagan's Cosmos in your youth as I did, you remember some of the things on here!


From outside the Udvar-Hazy Center. The tower offers views of Dulles Airport and Virginia farmland.
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