Monday, May 2, 2011

On Ice.

On Ice

On Ice.

There are things you put on ice. Sore necks. Bad news. Hot tempers. Vodka. Dead bodies. All of which are among the countless uses for frozen water.

My teeth start to chatter. I’m pretty certain my lips are blue. Hypothermia can set in the body in a matter of minutes depending on the temperature. Which in this instance the warmth in the room is anywhere in the vicinity of below 29 degrees and continuing to drop. Upon entrance to this walk-in freezer I disabled the controls to the thermostat in the hope it would extend my life while I wait.

As soon as I enter the room and secure the door behind me I began removing my shoes and clothing. I carefully step into the vat of ice. Delicately I submerge my torso inch by inch beneath the cold blanket of ice. The blood from my open wound spills out staining the ice. Slowly the flow of crimson begins to lessen. The waves of freezing set into my body as I wait. My skin takes on a new color and my face feels the blush of winter. My breathing is slower and shallow. I’m getting sleepy.

I’m not certain how long a person can live without a kidney and proper medical attention, but I wait. He promised he’d come. He said that he would follow shortly after I did. Or rather after we did this. You see you can’t cut out your own kidney. It requires assistance.

Chance says to me before starting in, “I’ll be there in a matter of minutes behind you. Wait. Don’t do anything stupid. You can not risk your life. Just wait for me.”

So I wait. Keep in mind. Neither of us are doctors. Actually Chance was excommunicated from the world of medicine for a similar abuse on school property during his last term as a med student. His calling as a surgeon washed away with one foolish irresponsible move. But we didn’t have time to find someone else. He gave me a local anesthetic and promised it would hurt like hell. Well, it didn’t tickle. Laugh. Pain. Smile. Chatter. Wait.

Now why am I missing a kidney? Money. Of course, right? I would be thinking money. Not at all. It’s quite the contrary. To simplify it, Chance asked me for it. And I agreed. What woman gives a man her kidney? A crazy one. I trust him with all my heart. This explains why I’m waiting here instead of the emergency room at the nearest hospital. This rationalization seems ridiculous when I think about it. The long story isn’t much clearer in my opinion either.

Chance returned home quite distraught. He wouldn’t speak to me or look me in the eye for over an hour. It was clear he wrestling with something in his mind and it was winning. When I could no longer bear to watch him suffer I grabbed him and refused to let go until he told me what was going on.

I need a kidney,” he says like it’s a gambling debt he has to repay. I can tell he’s quite serious though. I mention cadavers. With that thought he breaks free of my grasp and shakes his head no, moving his entire body in this denial.
“It has to come from a person… a… a… a living person.” He’s terrified and shaking fiercely. “I don’t need to keep it. Just need it for a little bit.” And his voice gets quiet and stops with a pause before dropping the final blow. “TONIGHT!”
I walk over and hold him to stop the shaking.
He whispers, “Its life or death. Mine.”
I love him, so I offer.
He declines and pushes me away.
I pause.
He asks, “Are you sure? I won’t unless you are.”
I am. We agree.
He promises to come for me. So here I wait for him to return, with or without my kidney.

The icy bath has the rancor of death. Frozen slow death. It’s my blood mixing with the ice. Red, glistening, breathe taking, numb, creeping in without a warning.

Chance, where are you? I think I’m dying. On ice. Alone.

There’s not enough life in me for anger or sadness. It’s cold. Quiet. I trust him. My breathing has slowed even more. The precise hole in my torso has temporarily cauterized from the cold. I’m thankful that bleeding out isn’t what’s killing me. I’ll manage to stay coherent a little longer. I think.

My eyes flutter.
The door swings.

Eyes closed then open.

It’s Chance. Maybe it’s too late.


He’s bent over next to me with both hands fiercely digging in the ice to free me.


Red ice.


Maybe not.


Revised. On Ice. Haven’t had to ice anything lately. Although I am a bit sunburned and there’s a bruise on my right arm. Shh. It’s nothing. So when I think of this one it reminds me of hurting my ankle from a fall. Or rather it was a jump. And the landing was the misstep. Needless to say falling is the easy part, it’s the jumping that most people are afraid of. And in all honesty I am afraid of heights. Tried and true it always makes me nervous right before. But never enough NOT to do it. Can’t imagine. Could you? Besides I think I like the feeling of falling too much. How about you? Anyway the story is less about the ice and more about the waiting. Sometimes you have to and commit to what you’re doing to get through it. And trust that it will all work out in the end… Because it will. Enjoy. kisses. m.

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