The Professor made us went down, One by one, we stood in a line, ‘warm’ he said, smiling at me, as if reading the fear written all over my face, as he took my hand and held it longer against it. I guess pretending to touch it didn’t work, and I totally lacked the enthusiasm my coursemates had, and the fear, I wasn’t faking it. I was so obsessed and compulsive, I washed my hands over 10 times that day…
The Professor took a knife and made an incision across the scalp. Then, he pulled the skin outwards and downwards, until the skin of the forehead touches the nose, like peeling a coconut husk. The mini electronic saw made an eerie ‘eeeeee…’ sound as it cut through the skull. The skull pulled apart, the brain removed. ‘No hemorrhages’ my friend whispered, but I was so shocked to actually rationalize anything, anything…
My friend, reading my fear, warned me, this part is even worse, she said, ‘the chest would open like a pod, and every internal organ removed’…The Professor, ignoring my fear, continue his carpentry work through the ribcage. I appreciated the emotional preparation, but somehow, I was still stunned.
Come on, you have seen numerous of cadavers(corpse) before at anatomy dissection, my inner voice tried to rationalize,.. ‘but this is fresh, it’s less than 4 hours!’ another voice argued.. and I wondered whether they were just thoughts or hallucinations…
‘Pop’, the chest cracked open and the mini saw stopped. In silence, he went through the intestines, as if searching for something. He tied one end of the gut, and later extract the whole gastrointestinal tract, from the tongue all the way to the colon, the lungs, the heart, the liver as well.
Then, they moved to another table. The brain was inspected and weight. Then the cerebellum divorced from the cerebrum. He sliced through the cerebellum. ‘Ouch!’ I shouted inside me… Although I understood well that the central nervous system has no nocicepters (pain receptors), and on top of that, it is already dead, I just couldn’t help feeling the pain… Then he sliced the cerebrum(forebrain), 1.5-2.0cm apart, sharply, skillfully and steadily,… spreading each out for signs of stroke, hemorrhages or infections. ‘Clean’, he said. At this point, I have a sense of déjà vu, as if this was a scene from a horror movie,.. I was already peeping through the narrow slits of my eyes.
Later, he started weighting the other organs, one by one, slicing them, analyzing them, like as if it’s the most interesting thing to do in the world – The tongue, the lung, the heart, the liver, etc..
He commented, ‘You should get used to the smell, no covering your nose and mouth with your hands’. He looked up at me, followed by another 30 pairs of eyes (of which belonged to my coursemates). I swallowed a gulp, it regurgitated back. It wasn’t just the smell, this, this was entirely gross… yet, I could tell no one… I cannot imagine me being on the table, and I vowed never to let it happen, and was already making plans to clearly state it in my will… I guess I was shallow, despite my profession background. But hey, I bet you would have thought the same back then if you were in my shoes.
Then, they sew up the body, halfway up the chest, shoved everything back into the body, including the brain and sew it tight. The head was filled with cotton and sutured.
And I, I could not eat any meat that day.
I stared down from above. A group of curious students looked at me, with cruel glances and disapproving expressions. I was not sure whether this should be done, I am not capable of stopping them anyway; I just had to get through with it.
The doctor recorded the bruise marks on my body, the cigarette marks and the multiple old scars from the slashing of my father’s belt.
I was hurt before. And so, I fled to Malaysia for employment, or rather, for new hopes, for a better future. My new employee was very nice to me. Despite not having any blood relationship, they treated me like a relative. I taught their children to read, played, and raised them as if they were my siblings… Here, I found home.
Then one day, my chest hurt so much, I could not breathe… and that was the last thing I could remember.
I feel guilty having my employees now being suspected for abusing me, for my death. How can I tell them, they were kinder to me than my very own flesh and blood? Would anyone believe it?
The doctor sliced through me. Funny, I felt no pain at all. Yet, I felt like I have lost something. That is me, or rather, that was me… Seeing this only restrengthen the fact that I can never return to it. So, that’s it, that’s the end.
As he sliced through the heart, he nods affirmatively, as if he found eureka. ‘Fibrosis- the scar tissue’, he explained to the students, ‘Look, the left ventricular wall is much thicker than the right, left ventricular hypertrophy’. The students nodded in unison while I understood nothing at all. ‘Here, another strip of fibrose tissue’ he continued speaking Latin and pointed to some grayish-white section of my heart. ‘The cardiac enzyme stain confirmed it. She had a heart attack’
I had a heart attack.
Finally, that answered everything. I died from a heart attack, like my mother, which left me to my cruel abusive father. My employees were free of charges.
And I, I was free too…
(Note: all identities are confidential)
Written on September 02, 2007 at 12:51 PM
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