Catherine Fischer (copper9lives) wrote,
Catherine Fischer

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Mental Sludging

Help me
I am trapped
In a terrible inertia
Eyes fixed in their orbits
Feet stuck fast in quicksand
Mind slowed like the river
In winter

I wonder if I’m hypoglycemic? Had a can of tuna for lunch. Really time to go shopping. I weigh 15 pounds less than I did when Kevin left. Exercising getting easier.

First surgery lab today: suturing. I bought a chamois (actually a sham-chamois, as my Dad would say) at OOJJ’s, the local gas station (Kevin always pronounced it “OO-jeh-jeh’s"); a classmate picked up an embroidery hoop for me at the local fabric store. Voila! Fake skin to suture. (Everyone who didn’t have a suture board or an improvised one like mine was forced to use a banana. Banana skin tears. The whole lab smelled like banana after 20 minutes. Currently, my class is putting together a cookbook as a fundraiser – recipes that one can make HERE, complete with information on which store one can find the ingredients at. I recommended the “suture lab banana colada” as a recipe.) Two and a half hours later, my mind is numb, and I am sporting my first surgery blister. (I need help figuring out how to get leverage with the needle holders without letting my thumb slide into the ring, where it rubs and blisters.) Will talk to Dr. Spackman, and see if she has any pointers. PowerPoint presentations just have their limits. I think I need to trim my nails further, too. The chamois worked best when wet – handled more like actual tissue – so of course I got my lap wet, and then held the embroidery hoop against me while buying more expired suture to practice with – got one breast wet. Looked really Klassy, capital ‘K’ and all. Then again, I’m wearing the world’s most beat-up t-shirt, so I don’t know why I should care if I have a wet boob.

Home again. The air smells of burning cane fields. Despite Mt. Olivees being obscured by heavy grey cloud, burning in this dry time seems unutterably foolish. Dry, dry…the ghut is full of fluttering brown seed pods, thirsty wandering cattle and monkeys maliciously eying Leonie’s bananas.

The things I’m bringing home these days are more interesting: an envelope of radiographs to examine, my faux skin and suturing supplies, surgical packs. I’ve opted to go with the disposable surgical gowns, as I think washing bloody surgery gowns would kill my poor washer (which doesn’t work that well to begin with). Besides, the disposable gowns are paper, and much less bulky and hot. I got the only kind of disposable gown the pathetic bookstore offers: sterile back. Those are tricky. The dance is such: after surgical scrub, one has one’s assistant open the surgery gown outer wrapper, leaving only the sterile inner wrapper. One then opens the sterile inner wrapper – making sure not to touch the contents within. There are sterile towels in there; one dries one’s hands, starting at the fingertips and working down to the elbows. Then one carefully puts one’s hands into the sleeves and shrugs the gown on, making absolutely certain not to touch the front of the gown. Then there’s this interesting card attached to one’s side, holding the ties for the gown; one pulls this card off of one’s side and presents it to one’s assistant. The assistant then takes the card, being careful not to touch anything else, and stands there, holding it, while one spins into the gown, then pulls the end of the tie out of the now nonsterile card, and ties the gown on. (Bet you didn’t follow that, if you’ve never seen it done before.) The trick is to get an assistant who holds perfectly still. If one’s assistant moves, and one bumps into him or her – start over from scratch with a new gown. I’m sure I’ll have to fold up someone else’s gown, for the practice in the proper way to pack and sterilize gowns. How did I get on this digression?

I woke up slowly, before the alarm clock rang, this morning, which I love. Gave me time to savor the dream I’d been having – a vivid one, where I’d slept with two lovers in one night, but somehow this was totally acceptable, and not as sordid as it looks now, typing it out in the full light of day. Sigh. I wonder if I have a follicular cyst? My hormones have gone completely nuts, have been that way for weeks, and I can’t stop thinking of sex. The sex with the second lover was languid, slow, emotional; we were saying goodbye in the morning, delaying the process as much as possible, when I began waking. I don’t think I know the first man in my waking life, but the second is a friend of mine from Harbin, a warm person with a sparkling wit and beautiful eyes. I should email him. Hmmm. Maybe I shouldn’t.

The clasp of my necklace is down at the bottom, next to the pendant. It has been down for an hour, now. My automatic response: turn it back and make a wish (I don’t remember where I got that from). But as soon as I grabbed it, I couldn’t make up my mind what to wish for: a lover who might suit my current life (which I keep telling myself I DON’T need, but which would be awfully nice right now), or success (which I keep telling myself I need to WORK for…just as soon as I stop procrastinating and typing in my journal). This sort of paralysis in knowing what I want doesn’t usually plague me. My mind is SO sluggish today! Perhaps I’ll spend the day working on mostly non-conceptual stuff – practicing suturing, sewing pack wraps, making a chart of the different types of suture material. OK, here goes: deep breath, grab clasp, turn, and WISH…
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