Today, two weeks after surgery to remove two gigundo cancerous growths from my right shin, I get my stitches removed. It’s a regular coming-out party.
Guido and I report promptly to the doctor’s chambers at 8:00 AM. The waiting room is as frigid as British royalty. My balls, already shrunken to marbles in fear and anticipation, retract into an undefined area behind my clavichord.
We’re escorted grimly to the cell where the deed will be done. It, too, is refrigerated to meat locker conditions. When I park my ass on the leather seat, ice forms in my crotch, and I immediately feel the need to pee. Fuhgetaboudit. I can’t feel, let alone find, my dick.
The doctor strides in bearing a tool belt filled with sharp implements. “Let’s see,” he says briskly. Examines. Frowns. Checks chart. Re-examines. Shakes head. Leaves room.
He returns and grimly explains that there are three kinds of stitches involved here. In the larger wound, there are absorbables that were supposed to absorb but didn’t: they’re sort of hanging out, loosely attached and need to be yanked out violently by the roots. There are absorbables under the first set which haven’t absorbed yet: they can remain but will probably get infected in which case the leg will be amputated. And there’s a third variety in the second wound that need to be excavated even if we need to dig down further near the bone but we can wait because what’s the use if the leg needs to be amputated anyway?
What a kidder. After all, last time he had me in stitches.
Besides, who cares? I won’t feel a thing, because I’ll be dead.
They get to work. Guido advises that maybe they want to tie at least my leg down. “He tends to get if not exactly violent, then at least spastic,” she explains. “When he had his teeth drilled, even though he was completely unconscious he attacked the surgeon. They ran out of drugs and had to call a veterinarian.”
“No need for drugs,” replies the doctor, brandishing a mallet, while I observe the swastika tattooed on the nurse’s swollen biceps.
They insert earplugs so my screaming won’t drown out the Muzak (“Waiting for the queen of hearts…..”) and get to work. Naturally Guido is fascinated, both by the process of cutting and pulling the elaborate stitchwork from deep within the body cavity, and by the ingenious ways she’s learning to inflict pain on her spouse, as though the mental anguish of a life sentence isn’t enough.
“I didn’t know blood could squirt so far!’ she marvels, eyeing the ceiling tiles. “Not from such a bony, fleshless area, anyway! And what’s that other stuff? Pus?”
Afterwards, despite the 72 degree climate, I am so drenched in sweat I slide off the chair, leaving puddles for the next customer. “Not so bad, was it?” asks Nurse Conan.
Grnchf. Bxlrth. Ffpklwqry.
We limp out. Guido insists on going to breakfast — watching needles and blood makes her hungry for eggs, raw meat, and chicken beaks. I settle for black coffee, and unobtrusively slip out my flask and drop in a shot of Blue Head Reposado. It’s 9:15 am.
“I wonder where Irene is,” muses Guido. “Are you ready to put shutters up?”
Can I have an hour or two to bleed to death first?
“Poor baby, sure,” she says, sympathy oozing from her like sunshine from a coal mine. “Now don’t make me break your arm to give me that flask.”
Happy Hump Day, everyone.