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  • Roxanne Noor

Uncertainty

Updated: May 12



We take a train from the green Austrian Alps into the gray concrete of Berlin. The scenery moves like flipping pages from a picture book. Here’s the bright eyed fluffy cow with a glistening tulip nose. Now here’s the voluptuous curve of a mountain’s wild flowered breast. There goes the field with its red decaying barn quietly perched upon the land. The train moves and because it sprints quickly, everything changes with a reeling rapidity.

 

Keke and I record the sounds of the teetering train. The conductor’s short clippings of tickets. The German names of the stops that sound like gargling sounds in the mouth when repeated aloud. The shuffle of people as they grab their suitcases and head off into life off this train.

 

My body is slouched like a sloppy child in the fake leather chair. I do not care to be composed. My period is three weeks late. I have $500 left in my bank account, it is enough for now but the feeling is not enoughness.  Is there life growing inside me?

 

The maybe-baby’s father is hiking Kilimanjaro with no service, up in the African sky and snow dusted terrain. I haven’t seen my own father in 14 months. I wonder how New York is this June. Summer’s a current of vitality in an already hyperactive city of spastic doing. It could be invigorating to go back home, or it could be quite miserable with so little money. Hot piss and trash or galleries on the West Side and jazzy Thursday’s?

 

In Berlin, we sit in the living room studio, and Keke overlays the sound of the violin over the train recordings. I speak about the liminal space we reside in, this tender age of knowing little and carefully piecing our lives in like a mosaic stained glass window.

 

The next morning I buy a pregnancy test from an old Turkish man at the corner store. He eyes me up and down. “You should keep it” my friends tell me as we pluck tuna nigiri out of a torn takeaway box. “You’re the most stable one out of all of us.” I think about what maybe-baby’s father told me months ago. “The decision is always the woman’s. You wouldn’t need to work. We have two maids to take care of the baby so you can sleep and be a well-rested mom.”

 

Am I meant to be a mom? I am living on my friend’s futon in a penthouse of insomniac musicians and anarchist sex workers. I travel frantically through Europe and nest on a butterfly birdy island in Asia. What kind of family structure would our nutso coupledom provide?

 

I decide to pee on the stick and figure it out after. Keke finishes our song, a liminal space, and it sounds like a train departing into a new land of promise and prayer. The sounds of the churning train fades, and melts into strings of longing. Then comes the synthesizer of simplicity. Lyrical liberties are taken.


I dance naked in the living room as Keke lays outstretched on her faux fur carpet with her purebred cat Jesus. Rain begins to tap on the window and the music increases. The glass fogs, and golden lights from taxis eyeballs flash over the condensation. Berlin blurs, and a horn blares like a warning call from elsewhere.

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