My Hot Water Bottle
Alone in Ireland, I discovered one at the foot of my bed under the neatly made covers. My friend had abandoned me for a boy earlier that night, leaving me raw and vulnerable in a strange place. Our host, having no idea when her foolish guests would return from the pub, kindly kept our beds warm with a hot water bottle. I crawled into my bunk, brined in betrayal, and as my toes slid down the sheets her thoughtfulness climbed up my body, melting away my loneliness, making a way for rest.
Stuck down my underwear every day for weeks, my hot water bottle helped liquefy the hormone and reduce swelling in the injection site at the beginning of nearly all my pregnancies. Romance was dead but the work got done.
Pressed against my lower back and dressed in my son’s pajama shirt, it loosened my hips and kept him close while bearing my daughter into this world. My firstborn as a measure of comfort for my second.
When my first husband left me alone in the Bronx, a friend sent me a cloth heart, weighted and scented, to place on top of my own which was wild and empty. The heaviness calmed me and after my panic attack this April, I remembered that feeling and have been placing a hot water bottle on top of my heart ever since. It grounds me and brings me nearer to sleep. As I roll to my side and pull the water bottle close, it satisfies another need; nestling the baby I will never sleep with again. It eases this unhappy notion with a gurgle and a squish and a 98.6. I am lulled once again only this time I get to sleep through the night.
Thank you for always being there Hot Bottle Water. I love you. I wish you could read.