Thursday, November 27, 2008

The dance

Two weeks ago I took my overnight bag and left the apartment at 6:30 am. I boarded the "A" train, transferred to the "C," then got off on 96th Street and Central Park West. It was a beautiful morning, with a beautiful blue sky to match my good mood.

I took the crosstown bus to Fifth Avenue, then sat on a park bench and watched the squirrels migrate to spots on the grass where the sun was brightest. When it was time, I picked up my bag and headed to the entrance on 94th Street, just east of the park.

A well-choreographed dance--planned but effortless, rehearsed but not forced. The older nurse held my hand and lead me into a room--a gown, now another room, cold inside, onto the table, "Are you comfortable?"

The young nurse whose face I couldn't see behind her mask, stroked my arm before we even met. It was as if all the love her mother and father gave her was transferred to me--laid on the table, just like I was.

"A shot to relax you," said the anesthesiologist, and then I was. Relaxed.

"Do you mind this mask so close to your face?"

"No," I said, "I don't mind."

"You did great," said the nurse.

"I did?" I said. "It's over?"

"It's all done," the surgeon cheerfully chimed in. "And now we just want you to rest."

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