As the dressings were removed, I felt the new life I’ve been leading had been validated. In reality, it was the same life. It just looked different to everyone else. I felt like it wasn’t me that radically changed, but the perception of me. Yet, we all changed in some ways; as we struggled to evolve and adapt to our conditions and environment. I desperately wanted everything, yet nothing to change. Likewise, while the unveiling was something that I took in with satisfaction and joy, not everyone shared that sentiment.
In any event, while grooves were being worn in the waiting room floor, cuts were made, stitches placed and the scalpels washed and put away. Just two days later I stood for the first time on wobbly knees, nurses on either side. She sat on the couch in front of me, watching on as the staff attempted to wrestle panties around the catheter bag and line while simultaneously keeping me from teetering over onto my face.
During this spectacle, I noticed a drop of blood hit the floor, followed by another. When I looked up, she had averted her eyes; her hand shielding her face as if to protect it from the sun. My concern immediately turned from my own predicament onto her, asking what was wrong.
“I can’t look,” came her reply.
My heart sank somewhere beyond the pit of my stomach. A rush of emotions fueled by hormones and Percocet convinced my brain that this was it. The moment where she could no longer look at my body or me. As the nurses finally wrestled my undergarments into compliance, tears crept from duct to cheek. As I waddled out of the room and down the long corridor, I considered how it had gotten to this place. How I could be so blind, so stupid.
Once I had completed my victory lap of the 4th floor, I returned to my room. I mumbled through my emotions, asking if it was me, the vagina or the blood. She assured me that it was simply the blood and that she was squeamish. I felt somewhat relieved, but my confidence still shaken to the core.
Somehow, I feel a little more alone now. No matter the proximity. Nothing will ever be like it was before, not for anyone. Everything changes. Just somethings more drastic than others.
‘Cause the seasons change was a conduit
And we left our love in our summer skin