January 18th, 1996

The Ghost and the Darkness was playing at Village Cinema Parramatta, and Michael Douglas was still hip after Basic Instinct became a cult(can any one remember Sharon Stone’s leg crossing scene? Some what appropriate to this current tale). Every time the music hit a suspended note, the Braxton hicks kicks in adding drama. I had whispered to Victoria- the contractions are getting regular and closer by the minute. But, I wanted to finish the movie. Like clock work the water broke appropriately at our unit in the bathroom en-suite.

Midnight, admitted to the children hospital, my husband proceeds to ask a series of appropriate questions like: honey, does it hurt? honey, do you want me to tell you a joke? While I held my breath, and soiled my pants. Giving birth is the most undignified, unrefined gory act, I had failed to see any beauty in it. They stacked my legs wide open on metal stirrups, and tooked turn watching my womanhood shredded into oblivion, and discussed wether “to cut or not to cut”…

There he was in my arms at a quarter to eight, the hour of the cat/rabbit, this bluish blood stained alien thing. And, I was in love.

By Nguyễn Thị Phương Trâm

There's magic in translating a body of work from one language to another.

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