Sunday, November 23, 2008

Septoplasty - 2

Do you drink? the kindly, motherly Asian nurse was asking me. Do you smoke? I had not yet been submitted to the indignities I knew were to come, the donning of the assless gown and padded sockies. In fact, there was a weird dignity to my present circumstances: I was seated in a high-backed chair against the wall, half-drawn curtains separating me from similar stations on either side. There was a thronelike quality to the chair and its position, its role in this ceremony of deference. A robotic-looking blood pressure machine stood like a sentry to my right. So this is what it's like to be king for a day. Any allergies?

Before long I had to go to the changing room and pile my clothes in the gunmetal gray locker. I was given two gowns and told to wear them each way. One forward and one backward. Go both ways. One way is life and the other is death. I took note of the pattern of rubberization on the soles of the beige ankle socks: It was a striation that could almost but not quite be termed decorative.