Jan/Feb 1998  •   Fiction

Somewhere Station

by Avital Gad Cykman

After everything that had passed between us, I was only too glad to watch the clouds under me. These soft grey ships with an orange edge were beautiful.

I had to bring home at least one baby. I failed to have one of my own.

The woman next to me was very fat as if she had eaten all the ice cream I had avoided for years. I never wanted to get chubby. Her plump body undulated, liquid-like, to all sides. I felt her belly next to my elbow, and imagined it as very white under the tent- size dress she was wearing.

On her other side, a very mousy little man watched the movie attentively. His eyes bulged out each time Uma Thurman appeared on the screen. If he had danced with her, his head would have been leaning comfortably against her belly button.

The woman turned her round face to me and with a very delicate voice asked if I wanted a gum. She said it eased the ear pressure. I refused politely and again took a deep dive into the clouds, feeling the last warmth of daylight. Not long afterwards, she turned to me once more and offered me chocolate. Now I found her so nice and friendly that I was willing to share the whole package with her. The mousy man she called Max was absorbed with the film. The chocolate tasted great, as sweet as the smiling woman. She broke it, and we ate thoughtfully every melting piece.

Good, huh?” she asked me again and again, and I, mouth full, nodded approvingly.

Feeling much sweeter by the middle of the chocolate bar, I chatted with her. Her words came out in a unique order, captivating my attention. In her mellow way, she described their pastoral home by the blue mountains. A house full of shouting kids. First sons and daughters, then grandsons and granddaughters. In the mornings they all played in the dense forest behind the house. They were a part of the wildlife of the wood. She would stay home, cooking and baking, mixing and tasting all kinds of wonderful flavors. “And you,” she asked pleasantly, “wouldn’t you like to have kids around?”

My old sadness returned, and as she looked at me, I found myself crying. She held my shoulders, humming and comforting me as if I were one of their children.

Once her warmth melted that hardened spot in my belly, I fell asleep in peace. I woke up to a special sound, and looked around me. The couple was not there. The voices came from the front, the unmistakable sounds of passionate lovemaking. The woman called out intimate nicknames, saying he was soooo good. She moaned, shamelessly, and made a happy pigeon’s cooing. The man urged her to come, to take him, gladly making his own love-sounds. They had fun, more fun than I thought possible.

Laughter spilled involuntarily out of my throat. I recognized the woman’s voice. Yes, and the film was over.

The other passengers were sleeping now. Here and there, a light shined, but the place was calm and quiet. I sat there, laughing to myself, imagining the two having adventurous sex on the plane.

Excited screams burst from the front, as they had a powerful climax almost at the same time. I wondered if they would be embarrassed upon their return to the seats.

When they did show up, the woman smiled at all directions, and the man had a self-contented, satisfied smile on his face.

Here you are,” said the woman. She brought out a bundle, a moving blanket from somewhere in her tent-dress.

I took it. By god!!! It was a baby, looking at me with huge eyes. And smiling.

And one more,” she said. This one was sleeping, his curly hair resting humidly on his newborn’s lovely forehead.

I was so moved, I started crying again.

They are for you,” the little man reassured me.

The couple looked at me and at each other with their calm, warm eyes.

Would you like some more?” she asked me.

We can make them easily,” he said, smiling at her in a playful sort of way.

Oh!” I was sobbing. “Only one more. It will be wonderful!”

By the end of the flight I had three little babies, sleeping deeply. They were healthy and beautiful. My breasts seemed to blossom in the sunrise warmth, and filled with it.

My mission was complete, for me, for my man, and for any cravings I’d had. The couple still calls sometimes. They ask me if I want any more kids. I always laugh, and tell them they don’t have to use this old excuse again.