I said I needed to walk for a while, just to get my head straight. She wanted me to say something, anything. I had no words, very little thoughts either. I needed that fresh air, the quiet, the night of empty streets and a calm mind. I know she was worried when I walked out, I could feel the weight of her concern, just from her stare. I could not stay to reassure her, it was physically and emotionally impossible.

I reacted to what she said in exactly the way I always said that I would not. I thought it was a weakness not to deal with a new arrival when it was announced, but unfortunately my natural manner was that of bewilderment and concern. As I plodded along the footpath, I attempted to make sense of the situation.

I think I will do the right thing for this woman who I have loved for some time, just as I would expect if the situation were reversed. I only think it is the right thing because of our love and our life. What of our future? What of the dreams we have spoken of? How can we make a part of this town our own, when we now have other concerns?

While I cross the road, I loathe admitting to myself one ever important matter that Ive always been concerned with, what about my future?

By this time in my life I was meant to be the great provider, a producer for the sake of society and earning so much of the root of all evil that money problems would be someone elses problem. The need for success has become so addictive that it helps me get through my every daynot having achieved much of it has led to the anxiety that keeps me awake and poisons my dreams with disturbing fits. Is this new life an achievement in itself?

The cold of the night cools my heated skull; the drip of my nose helps me focus on something other than running from my worries. I feel that I should be worried. Im not completely sure why-- but I do. I watch the few cars pass along the road. The traffic feels like my life from the last decade, always passing through to the next place, never stopping to change course or spend precious time. I realise that on this particular walk, I need to change my own course, speaking to a friend may be what I need.

I wonder if she has considered how this will affect her, or has she been more concerned with my reaction? The responsibility of opening up our time, changing our routines, possibly delaying our future plans, is what I am considering. Will she be able to handle things? No one is a perfect mother. At times life can stress her out enough,--without me and the child helping. How many other people are going to interrupt our lives for the sake of looking after the child and its best interests? I wonder if we will ever share a private moment again. My own parents with their children must have felt the same way.

The light from the service station calls me away from the dark footpath I have been travelling. Its seems very calm and almost ghostly with no one around to purchase fuel or whatever. My friend relaxes by the counter, unaware of my approach, reading some military novel and its tales of far away battles, with characters who went through ten times the dilemmas I face now. Its warm inside the building, but much too bright as if I were a rock star on stage.

 My friend greets me with a grin and a cheeky comment; if there was anything I could ever expect from him, it was certainly that. The hilarity quickly subsided when I explained that my girlfriend was pregnant with my child. After a period of surprise, silence and contemplation my friend congratulated me and said that everything was going to work out fine. I said that I had expected him to say something like that, but could he cast his mind to the future, specifically my future?

You wont be alone on this, Im going to be an uncle you know, said my friend.

 I never really thought about it that way. Ive always depended on no one and asked for nothing.

Youll find work, you will both cope. I know how much youre worried, but only do so much planning. I know you can figure out all the challenges when they come, you have up until now, look how far you have come since school. Not as far as I would like to have professionally, but personally it has been much like going from living in a cave to flying around the galaxy.

You two have always worked better as a team and look at it this way; you will certainly be in one with this situation. It will be a lot like when we first moved out, we will be discovering who will do what in the house, Ill probably go out for work, and shell probably stay in and work. As the years go by the child will be full time, then part time, then casual work and as it reaches my age hopefully me and my girl can retire (and it can work for us).

Just calm down, go home, tell her everything is alright and that you cant wait for what the future brings. Well he is right that I better tell her something, but thats too mushy and personal to tell him about.

Now whoever said their friends dont know what their talking aboutokay it was me, thankfully Im not always right. I never expected to find a plan for the rest of my life in a service station, but nowadays, I guess we can often find the strangest services in the most unexpected places. I left the small warm building and returned to the cold night, after that chat my mind was clearer, and my teeth did not chatter any more.

See Matts blog at: http://lightofthequasar.blogspot.com/


Copyright Matt Holt, 2004