A look at the many complicated lives in a city, with Regina Spektor’s song “Eet”
It’s like forgetting the words to your favorite song.
You can’t believe it; you were always singing along.
It was so easy and the words so sweet.
You can’t remember; you try to feel the beat.
Vacant eyes stare out a window fogged by grit and grime. A woman’s hand rests on her stomach, rubbing circles in cotton fabric. She hums softly to herself, a melody of old that has yet to age. She sways to the dulcet tones, lips turned up. One salty bead is the first of many, leaving a roadmap on beige flesh. The woman opens her mouth to sing, but chokes on a sob, lyrics forgotten. She squeezes her eyes shut and clenches cotton fabric between her fingers as she sucks in shaky breaths.
Then she sees it: cold, white walls, and flashing, lifeless metal that keeps one alive. The beeping of each monitor matches each breath, each beat of the heart, her life around her. The women come and go, squeezing her hand and whispering words of comfort, with no lasting effect. She sees men in matching white that shatter hearts the way car accidents shatter the bones they mend. The wail that leaves her is the same the heart-breakers in white had heard not long ago.
It is followed by one of a much higher pitch. The woman jerks, head snapping back to the room the sound came from. She rips the blanket off and stumbles to the back room, painted pale pink. The small room holds a large wicker cradle, pressed against the far wall. She quickly wipes the remaining tears from her eyes, letting them stain her sleeve. She jumps as another wail echoes around the room before she hurries to the cradle’s side.
She peers down into the cradle, where there rests a baby, swaddled in a blanket. The woman smiles softly, tender coos slipping from supple lips. She pours warm words into waiting ears. She brushes her fingers over the baby’s doughy forehead then down to its hand. Small fingers curl around the giant’s, chestnut and alabaster together.