I was laughing yesterday as smoke curled from a small hole in the side of my chest.
As you can probably already tell, this post isn’t necessarily for the squeamish.
The circumstance that brought me to this smoky moment was a very minor surgery I had to go through yesterday morning. Since it was nothing serious, I can’t claim macho bravado here. It’s just the whole hour-long thing was fascinating.
The surgeon, Dr. Nesbit, was doing his final follow-up on a surgery I had in September. (No worries, I’m fine) Yesterday, he had to remove a penny-sized, sort of nub that was needed to supply blood to the original surgery site. Now that I healed from the procedure five months ago, the nub was just in the way and ugly, and had to go.
Some people understandably don’t want to watch when such a procedure is done to them, but I’m the type that loves to see what’s going on. So I looked down happily as Dr. Nesbit expertly started slicing away and blood began to flow. With the shallow, penny sized whole bleeding, he decided to cauterize so blood didn’t go everywhere. That’s where the smoke came in. It smelled a bit like burning hair.
“Is this what I’d smell like if I was struck by lightning,?” I asked.
“You’d smell worse,” he smiled.
Funny, I was actually struck by lightning once and don’t remember the smell. Oh, well.
Amid the smoke and blood, Dr. Nesbit and I made amiable small talk. It might be strange to some, but despite the admittably small amount of blood and gore, the whole hour long precedure really seemed like a pleasant chat with an acquaintance over coffee.
Finished cutting, he sewed me up, chatting all the while like a nice lady at a quilting bee. As a finishing touch, he applied some glue to the wound, to ensure it stays together.
I had to wait until the glue dried before I could put on my shirt and leave. A nurse felt the glue. “Still tacky,” she said.
“That’s not the first time I’ve been called that,” I replied.
After that, the procedure ended with a friendly handshake and a $50 insurance co-pay.
I’m glad blood and gore, in reasonable quantities, doesn’t bother me. There’s a lot more of it coming for me, but it least the next round will be fake. I’m working with a local horror film outfit, DeadFi productions, on their latest short film, “The Smog”
(My previous role was a cameo of a creature getting hit by a car in “Midnight Roadkill”)
I won’t give away the details of “The Smog” but it will involve a large amount of blood. (My character is severely pummeled in the film)
I guess blood and gore, either real or fake, is a safe window into my own mortality. It allows me to contemplate it from a secure place, without genuinely getting scared or having to deal with the sad reality of it all.
Then someday, hopefully far into the future when my own mortality will be a reality, maybe I’ll be that much more ready for the inevitable.
I don’t want to leave this post on such a depressing note, so I will close with a famous, fun video related to all this. So enjoy our friend, Weird Al Yankovic: