Tina Rowley

writer + (performer) + [space left open for surprises]

the towel and the feeling, or, NOW, we WAIT

I said something to Dave last night as I was doing my nightly moaning organization of myself into my elaborate system of pillows. One of the things in my bed arsenal is a carefully folded-up hand towel that I put under my waist to align things so that my hip won't attack me in the night. The placing of myself over the hand towel is TOUCHY. The towel is folded in quarters horizontally, and every night I say to myself, "Tomorrow I'm going to sew this thing closed so it'll stay like this." I have been using a towel like this for a month and a half, and tomorrow has never come. So, I refold the towel every night and then get myself propped up on one arm all sideways amongst my pillows, and aim the towel at the place where I think my waist was before all of this happened. Once I've moved the towel up and down my side a few inches and feel satisfied that I've sort of hit the "waist", I gingerly start to lower myself to the mattress. The towel begins to curl and flop. I innerly begin to curse. I grab one end of the towel with the hand at the end of the propping-myself-up arm, and wind my free arm around my back to try to grab the towel from behind my back and pull it straight before I hit the mattress. I am never successful. The towel is lumpy and hurting me. I launch myself back onto my propping-up arm and with the other hand I assess how fucked up the towel fold has become. Do I have to sit up and refold it? Can I sort of just smooth it out beneath me and pull it into place? The towel has usually ended up totally diagonal and I have to strain to reach the back end of it to try my next maneuver. This is where the towel-related moaning starts (some mild pillow-related moaning will have already happened).

Last night, when I reached this stage with the towel, Dave asked if he could help. I agreed, and he grabbed the back end of the towel while I held the other end and tried to both lower myself and direct the towel accurately to its intended place. Having someone else involved in this towel thing is tricky. It's like a one-armed man inviting a blind man to...do something where it would be great if everyone both had two arms and could see. Dave pulled the towel taut but it wasn't touching me so I couldn't tell if it was in the right place and then suddenly some part of my body ached in a minor but annoying way and I said to Dave:

Stop, I'm having a feeling.

I know it's wrong to be all delighted about something that comes out of your own mouth, but I was and I am. I love the idea that "a feeling" is enough for a universal time-out. I imagine people in business suits everywhere stopping on city streets and making the time-out signal whilst looking inward for the source of a little feeling, while the world and traffic respectfully stop and wait for the results.


In other news, I went to the midwife on Tuesday, and what do you know? She did strip my membranes after all. I was wrong that she couldn't. She could and she did. When she did it, she said, this might do something or it might do nothing, and if it actually helps we'll never know. Since then, nothing has happened. Or, no, lots has happened - Larraine, Dave's mom, got here from Australia and she is the BEST and having her in the house is THE BEST and makes me want to weep for joy. And the baby seems to be threatening to be backwards. Sunny-side-up. When he moves now, I can feel a little knee coming out the front of my belly. And as I'm sort of on a pre-eclampsia* watch, I've now been told by the midwife to pretty much stay lying on my left side as much as possible. So how I'm organized now is either lying like a queen sideways on my couch or on all fours on a yoga mat trying to wiggle Finn into alignment. And I'm eating protein bar after protein bar, since giant amounts of protein may or may not help prevent pre-eclampsia.

*Pre-eclampsia is a...bad thing that involves overly high blood pressure and headaches and seeing stars and swelling and not getting to have a home birth, and it's a precursor to eclampsia which is a worse thing, a very bad thing, but, thankfully, a very rare thing, whereas pre-eclampsia isn't that rare.

Might I recommend the Promax Chocolate Mint Energy Bar? I will! I do. It's soft, minty and delicious.


We had a sketch back when I was in the now-defunct Bald Faced Lie wherein I played a character called "The Puppy", who was the fur-coat, fur-hat wearing head of a bizarre little crime syndicate. At the end of the sketch, we're all gathered around a table where we've been on an important phone call. The Puppy hangs up the phone and says momentously, "Now...................................................we wait." And the lights dim painstakingly slowly, and the sketch ends.