December 18th – Droplets of sweat fell to his lap as the blade glistened
So, it’s been a while. A bit of unexpected surgery kind of gets in the way of things. But, y’know. If you fall off your bike, you just have to chuck it in a lake and buy a new one. This is something like last Tuesday, anyway.
I’m on my back, on a bed. There’s a trolley next to me. They want me to get on to the trolley: the smaller, operating version. I shuffle over. The pain’s not much, not yet. This is the easy bit.
They cover me with hot towels, from a hot towel cupboard. I wasn’t expecting hot towels. Does anyone ever expect hot towels?
“Ils sont chauds.”
“C’est du Wellness.”
He’s pleased with his joke, and I’m pleased he’s pleased with his joke, because if he’s going to be there when they slice me open then I need a little levity. They can be too serious, operations.
I’m wheeled into the theatre. The lights are amazing. They’re not on, but they’re amazing all the same: huge circles with lenses everywhere, all circles, all different sizes. I want one. I don’t know what I would do with it, but I want one.
The Wellness guy in his green scrubs and green hairnet stretches out my left arm, the one with the tubes in. He rests it on a small trolley parallel to the bed, and straps my arm to it. He moves around, and does the same to the other side.
“C’est comme Jesus,” Wellness Guy smiles.
“Mais c’est Noel. C’est pas la saison des crucifixions.”
That was probably bad taste. They’re not going to crucify me, are they? That’s not what they said when they wheeled me down here, when the nice nurse with the short blond bob and the very blue eyes reassured me that it was an ‘easy operation’. I’m not sure crucifixion is standard operating practice, anyway. I look back at the lights. I still want one.
I’d like to say, ‘and then it all went dark’. I’d like to talk about counting back from ten, trying to get to six, at least, but there’s nothing. Not even in the darkness of dreams.
Later, I picture the surgeon, Germanically clean, scalpel poised, the lights blazing, cinematically picking out a single bead of sweat as it falls, in slow motion, onto the cooling towels, with the blade glistening. That’s what I like to think happened.
It wasn’t as straightforward as Blue-eyes said. I woke up hours later, sore and dehydrated, in an empty room. A resurrection of sorts.
Inspired by a prompt from here