Tuesday, March 15, 2011

The Haze

Since my big surgery I've been trying to write but couldn't. Arms hurt, soul hurts. So, now, exactly two weeks later, I have gathered enough eye-witness facts worth jotting down.  First, because this is what is happening how, we're a perfectly dysfunctional family. A second ago, before I retreated into my 3-year-old son's room to write, we were gathered in the living room. Here's the scene: I'm sitting by window smoking an indonesian clove cigarette and drinking a glass of pinot noir. In front of me is the 3-year-old, Lucas, watching Ice Age- The Dawn of the Dinosaurs (we watched it a million times before)... To the right is my beloved sister taking a respite of time on her computer, absorbed into ether, adjacent to her is my step son Ben. A 23-year-old marvel deep into so many drugs you could squeeze him in a hug and get a high equivalent to acid. We'll, I'm not sure about that - I never had acid... shame on me? But he's staring at the screen after setting me up with a set of earphones playing Nirvana's version of David Bowie's song  "The Man Who Sold the World". I'm sitting by the window. Andy, my husband and father of Lucas (3) and Ben (23 - the son in law) is staring into his computer screen as he so often does. Absorbed in work from a distant land, NY, San Diego, Easter Island? I don't know.
So here we are, a day after I had my first appointment with "The Doctors" at Mount Zion. Bandages were removed. I looked at my scars under the influence of a calming pill. Little Frankenstein dressed in purple surgical glue would do. Then they said, "sorry, we can't take the drains out yet". Okay, I replied in a haze. Went home, drains and all, leaking from the right side to the point my shirt gets wet. Oh, what a lovely night.
Proceeded to emulate what a regular night with the family would look like. Pain on my left arm and chest. They had "expanded" me. So we read "365 penguins", after me and Daddy had a fight that made my son cry.
The day before, however, right as I was leaving the doctor's office, I was stopped by a very tall blonde woman and her husband in front of the elevators... I had just returned from the bathroom. I felt bad, deformed, demolished. The purple scars had scared me. The crookedness of my body had left a small message (or big) on my psyche. This blonde woman held my arm gently so that I had to halt and look at the tall stranger in front of the elevators. She had a big smile. She looked deeply into my eyes and said she knew that look, the look I had in my face. "you have to excuse me but I have to say this".  She had had the same "reconstructive" surgery I'm about to have in two months, two years ago. She reassumed me the doctor was the best ever. And then showed me her cleavage, beaming, announcing her boobs were better than they had ever been. Bless her heart. It fell short of her showing me her nipples, which I know don't look quite as nice as her cleavage.  The husband smiled enthusiastically. I liked them. It was so nice of them.
I went home and cried all night.
Oh life, things pass so fast.