"Borrow your restroom to put on my anaesthetic?"
He gave me that withering look that means "you just gave me too much information."
My electrologist and I have kicked into high gear; everything below the waist has to be done by February 14, which is also when I will need to stop taking my Estrofem.
En route to the small town where the electrologist lives, I popped my painkiller. It's a 1000 mg. size, so I allowed time for a quick chicken-sandwich tummy-settler.
"How ya doin'?" she greeted me.
"I'm here." My stock answer. This always throws people off the first couple of times, but what I mean by it is that I don't know how I'm doing, because the day isn't over yet. The present, which is where everything is, happens just before we're aware of it, that is to say, consciousness runs in the memory's wiring. In a sense, we can only look back. We have no idea where we're going. So, for me, it's the honest answer. Not Dead Yet. Ergo, pretty good really.
"If you say so. Are we gonna do an hour, or more?"
"I'm set for an hour below, and as much as we care for of face after."
"OK, hop up here, I'm all set."
I like her new office. She has a clean sense of style and is adding Persian rugs with matching chairs, prints, and plants -- including the biggest jade tree I've ever seen -- one at a time, getting a feel for how the place is going to be. The layout -- waiting room, medical-secretary station, examination room -- looks like it was set up for a one-doctor practice.
"O.K. so far."
In this position, reversed on the table, I can wear my hearing aid to listen to my surroundings and also converse. My eyes travel around the ceiling and walls, courting color, seeking details to dwell on. But the needle is insistent.
There's a tiny pop just before the buzz of the electricity and a matching tiny pop after. Must be a switch on the rod or something.
The pain is already reaching the no-go level, with half an hour left.
I start singing.
I don't know a lot of songs; love to sing but prefer to have a hymnal or songbook in front of me.
I try out "Careless Love," "Wreck of the 97," "Waiting on a Train" (with the yodels) and "TB Blues."
You know anything cheerful?" she asks.
Umm, not really. "How about 'Kumbaya?'"
""Oh, come on!"
"Well, there's 'Put Another Log on the Fire.'"
"Want some radio?"
After awhile, she moves around to the other side.
"Lemme ask you something, if it's O.K. ... When you were a guy, did you ever have a name for this thing? Cuz' it seems like guys generally do."
"Ahh, well ... it was Rufus."
"Rufus?" She's chuckling.
"What ... you prefer, maybe, Andy? George?"
"And anyway," I add, "It's all moot now."
"What's his technique? Your surgeon, I mean? Heh, heh. Sorry for how that came out."
"Uh, eclectic, he says. Meaning adapts to your presentation or something. But it's mostly penile inversion."
"Hollow it out and turn it around?"
"Mm-mm. But he's way more interested in depth and looks than I am. You have to go twice."
"Second one's for pretty?"
"Are ya worried?"
"No ... not about the surgery."
"What about, then? If you don't mind my askin'."
"I'm worried about the thallium stress test. He has to know how well my heart works."
I sit up and try to look her right in the magifying glasses. Exept she's rapidly getting blurry.
"I -- it's -- I don't know what I'd do if I couldn't do the surgery ... hnnnnnn ..."
"Here's some tissues."
"Thanks ... "
-- risa b