A table for one

The operating room could be likened to a theater: cupboards hold tanks of oxygen, refrigerators are filled with bags of blood and a table for one—besides where laid out a steel cutlery of unimaginable versatility. It is on this table where bodies are stroked or penetrated for all the pageantry.

However, no love is ever made.

The operating table is nestled in a room which is never allowed to grow dark, always glaring with a grotesque brightness of a full moon, when it illuminates the world with its whiteness.

On the table, the surgeon performs operations. If he were likened to a poet, wouldn’t the scars he made into countless bodies be like verses, into which he poured his soul?

The surgeon stands over that table of one—gowned, hooded and masked.

In time, the stillness settles in his heart and as silence, dignity and calling envelopes him, the surgeon carves in order to create.

What is the special congress into which a patient and the doctor enter?

The patient’s senses are deadened. The surgeons sensibilities are restrained.

The patient is blind, in complete offering. The surgeon stands masked and gloved—the patient yields, the surgeon takes his will.

Six years ago, I was the patient who was brought to the operating table in a stretcher, having been washed and purged and dressed in a white gown. Fluid drips from a bottle into my arm, diluting me and leaching my body of its personal brine.

As I waited in the corridor, I can hear from behind the closed doors, the angry clang of steel upon steel—like some battle was being waged.

There is the fetor of antiseptic and ether, and masked men and women hurry down the hallways, in and out of rooms.

I could hear the watery sound of strange machinery, the tiny beeping that is the transmitted heartbeat: mine.

And all the while, the dreadful knowledge that I’ll soon be taken, lay beneath great lamps which will reveal the linings of my body.

In the very act of lying down, I had made a declaration of surrender to my surgeon. I’d lie down gladly for sleep, or love and to give over one’s body and will for surgery—to lie down for it is a yielding of unbearable anxiety, more than we could bear.

I was wheeled in and moved into that table for one. An injection is given and as the silence of anesthesia falls, discourtesly across one’s brain, I watched my soul drift away.

Later, in the Recovery Room, I awaken and graze through the thickness of drug, at world returning. At first dimly, then surely, realizing that I have not died.

Then the surgeon’s scalpel rests—and waits for his hands again.

***

E-mail Mylah at moonlightingmdl@aol.com 

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