Another Success

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It’s easy. The table is stainless-steel and wavering with the movements of people around you. Luckily, the metal isn’t touching you; thank the paper for that. By easy, the lights flicker out and in, the hum of affirmations and machine buzzes lulls you, along with the gas. It may not be easy, but there’s no turning back point now. You’re here, the first incision is made. You want to gasp, and the doctor’s seem to soothe, shhhh, it’ll be alright; you hold tight, tight to that thought. A warm hand hovers your face, not touching, fighting itself. The second incision. Smooth. Senseless lights, syrupy warm, sugary almost. But the pain is bitter. You would hiss if you were able to. More talk; medicalities, you don’t care. And later, you’ll berate yourself for making up words. Swaying, moving with the table. A tool drops. S***. Oops. Hope they clean it… The mask covers your face. You wish it was off. It itches, and hazes your vision. Third incision. Then you realize.

You’ve read about this.
Some patients, taken asleep by the gas, are aware. They feel all the prods and picks and cuts. Your abdomen is on fire; not the run-of-the-mill fire either, a forest engulfing conflagration. There’s a clock somewhere, far off, you can’t seem to remember in which direction. The hands are still jumping around, like little bugs. The patients’ attempt to communicate their distress to the doctors is in vain, however; the gas has immobilized their outward senses. You read this. Long ago. The library maybe? Probably at Hefflitt’s Avenue. Maybe it was the week out of work… Another incision. Now the pain is horrible, excruciating. You scream, it vibrates through your body, yet doesn’t move you at all. It cinders around you, and you beg, pray, for it to end. To be back in bed, covered in warmth, not the syrupy light kind, book thrown to the side, music playing. Dark and alone, in a room. Not here. Anywhere but here, please. Please help! The nurses grab equipment. The doctors cut, cut, cut. You’re crying now. Invisible tears stream down your face, a cold hand, you think, you wish, would wipe them away. Another incision. It isn’t fair. Every cut is a bullet, it rips and tears tendons and skin. Splays them wide open. They simper their red smiles at the lights. Peels and tears. Muscles exposed, then cut right through again. No moment of peace, no moment of rest. Just cut, fold, splay, cut over and over and over. This must be hell. The sounds get louder around you. The buzz from the machine; spoken words turn to murmers. You imagine they have your entire stomach cut open, gaping and pulsing with the organs underneath. A snowstorm of thoughts hits, cools the burning. Shelley would’nt’ve made it anyway. Too busy with work…and Joel’s recital was today…been practicing for months…jerry hasnt even called…whats that pain…burning….tearing..removing…give it back…dont…wait….the stove…did i turn it off…aggh… A rip, a tear, a snap. They’re always tough to remove the first go. And, just like that, you’re released. The fiery burn is there, poignant, gnawing up your spine, to your teeth, to your brain, and back down again. It grows and grows and grows and grows and grows and grows…It envelops your entire body. With a final shriek, you lay, burnt on the table, the machines louder than ever. The lights flicker.

“They always look so angelic,” a nurse murmurs. She strokes your face. They slide the prize into a smooth bag, the lights turn off. You’re left alone, in the dark, like you wanted.
So easy.





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