He sighs, pats his daughter's head, lulling her to sleep. He feels over protective, responsible and thoughtful. Her vulnerable, guileless face, sweet even in repose, tugs at his heart, like a squeeze, a constricting love which is both poignant and piquant.
It has been a growing closeness. Initially he was impersonal, viewing her as one of life's factual aspects. But when his heart contracts with love, when he feels an ache in his chest he realizes that not only is he being a father but has 'become' one.
His wife is poorly. He is gently solicitous. Over the anvil of her immovability he projects his solicitations, extracting the bitterness of her frustration and transforming it into a manageable unctuousness. He renders fluid the intransigence of her despair and by transmuting his self possession, renders her becalmed and tranquil.
The crib where his daughter lies is studded with sparkly sequins which glint in the moonlight. Sleeplessness has anchored him. Like a protective angel he watches over beneficently as the destinies of those under his jurisdiction unravel themselves. It is frightening, this sense of omnipotence but it is also ennobling to be a fulcrum in a whirling, tumultuous inner life.
He hears her moan in pain. Gently, so as not to disturb his daughter he enters the bedroom. She has vomited copiously in the bedsheets. He gently wets a towel and wipes her mouth. Her pregnant belly looms up at him, reproaching him for his apostasy. He is not ready for this. But resigned to the fatality that, to him, is inevitable, he marches ahead like a jaded soldier knowing the battle is going to be list but proceeding nonetheless.
His wife's primordial experience rubs off on him. He bombards her with questions about her experience, hoping that internalizing it would enable a better understanding.She is fractious, irritable, petulant. At this moment where he anticipates closeness he experiences detachment. Throughout their tranquil interlude there have been gentle expostulations, mutual urgings on, an unacknowledged treaty of circumspection. Now he seeks to plumb deeper into the recesses of propinquity but his wife is elsewhere, in another dimension of being. Their precarious closeness is capsized. Yet, in the midst of this unanchoring he feels a self containment that surprises him.
He is aware, through a residual awareness that a change has occurred. Years of irresponsibility slough off. A new realm of experience, with its attendant revelations and surprises beckon. He goes back to his daughter's crib. The sequins gleam iridescently in the penumbra and sometimes, flashing into his retina irradiate, to him, the durability that accompanies the transitoriness of things. A whole new world shimmers dazzlingly. He sighs and plunges into the abyss.