Saturday, November 26, 2011
After 14 years I am still in the throes of learning what it means to be close to an engineer – someone with that kind of precision running through his veins, uber-focus, odd-world-out kind of mentality – and now, due to no choice of my own, I have run into another being so strange as to fill my mind with question after question, so bizarre as to boggle my every fiber and cause me to obsess about why he does what he does. The mysteries of Edward Cullen have nothing on this guy.
I am speaking, of course, about the masked one, who scrubs up to his elbows, the one with the steadiest hands, the beast known as (Say it!...Out loud...) Surgeon. (How long have you been cutting people open? ... A while.)
I am constantly thinking about the man who will perform the operation on Rhys. He is my age. He is personable (I'm told a rarity among his kind) and handsome. When we speak his name among nurses and other doctors, they sparkle like Hollywood vampires in the sun, clearly enamored of this person. When I finally met him I stared hard – looking for the trail of magical pixie dust in his wake, listening for the sound of the clouds parting and hymns of the chorus of angels to begin.
What possessed – and I do mean possessed – him to take up this profession? (I actually asked him and he told me some tired answer about seeing the difference made in people's lives, blah blah blah.) But, really, what is in him that brought him to medicine and then, to the freakish specialization of children's surgery? Is this the result of a happy childhood in which he learned he could do anything? Or a tortured one which taught him he must push as hard as he can to do better, be more perfect, and haunts him still?
What does he do in his free time? Does he have free time? What will he eat for breakfast the morning before he cuts open my perfect baby? What will he eat for lunch afterwards? Will he remember to look at his name on the chart or will it simply be another tiny body he must fix? Why does he think it normal to go to work and pick up a scalpel? Why does he shrug when I ask him details about ideal weights and ages for this to be done? How does he feel when things go well? When they don't?
When I flub my job, verbs fall flat or phrases fail to find a foothold in your mind's imagination. And for him?
Two weeks before Project Insanity in which I offer up my Rhys to surgery at Children's Hospital Boston. Escape is a very necessary tool at this point. And so, if you had told me a week ago that I would reach a time in my life when I would spend what small wakeful free time I have disappearing into a laughable fantasy world where a girl goes to her prom with a vampire, I would have said you were nuts. But thanks to a friend's suggestion (Yes, I blame you, Nicole!), there I go. Werewolves, baseball-playing vampires, armies of the newly undead, I embrace it all, while I place my faith in another kind of creature which to me doesn't seem all that different with regard to his rumored super-human abilities.