All I Ever Wanted. Was. . . To Keep You.
It is so strange to think that as a young girl she was so obsessed with the concept of having a boyfriend. This would prove she was prettier than her father’s mother had her believe. Her grandmother never once called her pretty. Never said anything about her physical appearance. This would not have mattered had she not had three younger sisters. Sisters who did not seem to have so many doctor appointments or blood tests. When her sister younger by 6 years called her up to tell her she had lost her virginity. She was supportive and unsurprised that Her sister had lost it before her oldest sister had. It made sense.
After all Romy was always called pretty. Thier grandmother exclaimed it all the time. While Jess folded washing or was picking out all the rotted apple cores from under the telivision, The brother figure liked to to put apple cores there because he could not be bothered throwing them out. Jess feel her heart constrict as her grandmother was heard to exclaim, ‘Oh, Romy. You are so beautiful.’
Now it is hard to understand why she was so bothered with the concept of being in a relationship. So indifferent she feels to it all. She knows he loves her. Yet, she is completely indifferent to it. I am sorry, she aches to explain to him. ‘This skinny limed lass, is simply far too tied up housing an internal revolution. Molecules, organs, veins and blood. Heart strings too. There is no room. No room for you. It occurs to her that she has not even given this guy a blow job. Blow jobs were something she used to enjoy giving. The last person she gave blow jobs to, she had loved very much. Very very much.
It had been like licking delicious ice cream and swallowing warm sweet custard. She had given each one willingly and with a sense of deep meaning. She had thought of this act as symbolic. She was hoping to suck the very essence of his brain that thought those beautiful and well structured sentences that when spoken by him, sounded magnificent. The blow jobs given to that person were a token of her affection and love. He had not loved her though. He had accepted her blow jobs, held her head so hard at times and pressed down so hard she had gagged and her eyes had watered and her nose began to run.
But he had not loved her.
As a result she never gave them any more, even though this particular boy in her here and now, was more worthy was more deserving. The thought of doing it made her feel ill at ease. The thought of doing it now, just makes her angry, angry that that was not enough for him and now she was stuck with the memory of being that subservient for someone who probably does not even remember what it felt like to have her mouth close lovingly around his penis and suck and lick and suck and lick and swirl her tougne around his tip and shaft.
His lack of love would not have been such a jarring jolt. A total and utter winding of pain had he not so very cleverly tricked her. He had made her feel confident, you see. Like she was something worth while that was more important than looks.
He had tricked her into thinking that her cleverness was sexy and that her smart sassy way with words made her special. He made her feel like rejection was not an option. He made her feel invincible. And then he fell in love with someone so beautiful, it made her feel ridiculous for ever thinking that being smart was enough to attract him. Girls have to be smart AND beautiful.
Being smart and giving excellent blow jobs was not enough.
Swallowing his sperm like it was a french vanilla milkshake, was not enough.
That is why she never did it again.
No. No more blow jobs from me, she thinks.
Two days after my dialysis info session. I had a 9am appointment with a top pediatric surgeon called Amanda Robertson. I awoke and got out of bed at 7am with great difficulty.
On entering the small share house kitchen I went straight to the kettle and turned it on. There was a strange noise coming from the sink. I had not put my glasses on yet and so needed to get my face quite close to the emty sink in order to see what was in there. I thought at first it was just a larger than usual moth. On closer inspection I squealed and jumped back.
It was a small mouse!
Dirt grey and brown in colour. It was scurrying with all its might in a bid to get up the metal walls of the sink but its paws could not grip properly. I decided to drown it. I dropped the plug in and quickly turned opn the cold water tap. Oh god it was probably totally diseased and was going to give me rabies. No, not really. On the farm when growing up, I had stepped bare footed on a half decomposed mouse on my bedroom floor. I had not died from that so this was no different. Except it was alive in my kitchen sink.
The water was filling up the sink but the mouse was a fighter. It just kept swimming madly. It was truly inspirational, what a intercontextuality of life learning was taking place for me, right at that moment. All I had to do in times of struggle, was look to this tiny mouse, swimming with utter determination. Fighting so hard for survival, in a terribly indifferent world. In front of a girl who was trying to kill it.
This mouse was not letting a hater slow its stride.
I decided to save it.
In our laundry were some broken pots and I ran to get one. I used the pot to scoop the mouse and some water, out of the sink. I turned of the tap. I live in a fairly shitty house on Brunswick road (location trumps everything though) but the back yard is large lush and green. I took the pot with water and the little mouse, outside and walked to the furthest corner of the yard. I tipped the pot out into some weeds and quickly ran back to the house where i put the pot into a garbage bag. The sink was emptied and all sponges thrown out and the bench top and sink scrubbed with disinfectant. No doubt the mouse was from a group of little scamps that I suspect live in our oven.
It is now time to make myself a cup of coffee.
I get out my little miss sunshine mug. This mug was a present from my brother for christmas a few years ago. It was a rare show of affection and thoughtfulness on his part. The mug was given in addition to a beautiful notebook. A total game changer since a few years before he had given all his sisters a framed photograph of himself in a suit, ready for the races, wearing sunglasses and looking quite intimidating except he was completely bald due to undergoing cancer treatment. I re boil the kettle and assemble my ingredients for an instant coffee and chocolate drink. 1 tablespoon of drinking chocolate 1 tea spoon of instant coffee 2 teaspoons of raw sugar. I carry the hot drink to my bedroom and kick my bedroom door closed with my foot.
Amanda Robertson’s office is on level 3 in the private hospital. The waiting area is empty except for a large man in is 40s who is filling out a form. The table has a perfectly piled stack of Country Living magazines. I am glad I was clever enough to slip the latest edition of The Lifted Brow, into my penguin classic tote bag. I am put at ease as soon as I hear Amanda call my name. I like how she sounds before I even look up to see what she looks like. In her voice was everything you needed to hear when in a doctor waiting room. She sounded friendly, assured, competent and calm. When I am sitting at her desk and able to look at her prperly. She is short and looks young with curly short blonde hair. She is wearing a light blue button up shirt and black trousers and sensible black shoes. Behind her is a large framed print of goldfish jumping out of a fish bowl and to her right and my left are about 7 framed certificates.
‘So, I hear you have kidney trouble?’ She says.
‘Yeah, they are being a couple of little punks.’ I reply.
She is able, thanks to the wonders of technology, look up my x-rays on her computer. I get to see my insides. My incredibly unique insides. ‘Do you have 2 kidneys?’ She asks.
‘Um. I think so.’
‘I just cannot seem to find.. oh wait yes there it is. It is just that you metal rods on either side of your spine, make the image blur and the kidney is obstructed from view.’
‘Wow.’ She shows me the images and covering jn the kidney is a sort of boney star shape. The shape is caused by the metal crashing with the electromagnetic imaging. My pelvic kidney is easy to see as it is in front of my rods. I smile as she shows me my insides.
How amazing it is to see yourself in comforting black and white and grey shades. What colour is my spleen? you may ask? It is surprisingly light grey and not as fleshy pink as I would have liked. There is a universe within me and no amount of heart twisting can ever change that.
‘Lets have a look at you then.’ Amanda says and I climb onto the examination table that at behind me the whole time as we sat and spoke to each other. The sheet was perfectly fitted and bright white. the end closest to the door, had a pillow also bright white and plump like a giant rectangular marshmellow. I rest my head on it and untuck my purple and white checked button up shirt (American Apparel) with the short sleeves that I like to roll up a couple of times so the sleeves hug my skinny upper arms better and give the illusion of muscular definition. I push down my simple grey skirt that is also American Apparel, so the skirt is below my hips. Amanda stands over me and begins to press down on my stomach and pelvis with her fingers.
It hurts a little but I hold my ouches back and stare at the ceiling. I am good at being examined in this way, it has been done to me countless times. aLWAYS OF SUCH INTEREST TO DOCTORS, IT IS AMAZING i AM NOT MORE EGOCENTRIC THAN i AM. ‘It would be interesting to know how big your pelvic kidney is.’ Amanda comments as she presses down quite hard to the right of my pelvis, where not too deep under the skin sits my punk arse kidney. It hurts quite a bit as she presses down on the skin.
‘I cannot feel it as being very large.’ She comments thoughtfully.
She traces a finger along the scare that runs like a smile below my belly button. From the operation I had when 4 years old. All I remember from that is being carried by my father down a corridor, one of my arms connected to an IV drip that rolled along behind me. A Blinky Bill stuffed toy hooked under my free arm. The toy had its own id bracelet. Just like my own. It was an operation on my bladder.
aS i STARE AT THE CEILING IT OCCURS TO ME TO ASK A QUESTION. ‘Do you think that because of me being sans uterus that means more room inside of me for the new kidney? Amanda continues to look closely at my naked abdomen and press down. ‘It will certainly make my job easier, but not much good for you.’ I smile upwards.
‘I disagree.’ I reply.
Examination over I am able to sit up and slip off the examination table. I retuck my shirt into the waist band of my skirt and slip my black ballet flats back onto my feet. I sit across from Amanda and she looks at me closely and I look back wide eyed and expectant. She looks calm and not like she is about to hand me my death warrant.
She tells me that she may be able to shift my stomach a little to the left and place a new kidney in the new space. It is possible but risky of course.
‘You have been under anasthetic for an extended period of time before so your strong enough.’ She tells me. ‘You will just need to be watched more closely post operation because of your size. After going home you will need to comein to see me everyday for at least two weeks. It will be quite intensive.’ I not my understanding. ‘Sometimes the kidney does not take and dialysis is required even after the transplant.’
‘I know.’ I say. ‘I have thought a lot about that and am ready for it if I need it.’
‘Good. how is your appetite these days?’
‘Non existent.’ I reply.’ I never want to eat. I eat things and then feel sick. What do I do?’ ‘There is not alot you can do, except eat what you feel like whenever you feel like it. You cannot make yourself eat when you do not want to. It is totally natural for someone with your extensive kidney failure, to feel this way.’ I look dopwn at my hands and sigh before looking up at her again. ‘I do not care if I ever have sex again.’ I say softly.
‘That will change.’ she tells me.
I do not want it to. I feel powerful like this. It frees me from all the bull shit. From rejection and mess and trecherous heart palpitations. If I get my sex drive back. I will want him again and all will be ruined. All will be for nought. He will hate my desire and find me stupid and pathetic. The pain will come back.
‘Jess, you are far worse than your blood test results would indicate and that is because of your size. You can look at your results and say its all good because the test shows all the bad stuff to be low but it is not low because you are healthy. It is low because you are small. You are very symptomatic. Who is being tested as a transplant match?’
‘How far along in the testing process is she?’ ‘Not too far along. She lives a few hours away from Melbourne.’ I explain. ‘I will write some letters and try to speed up the process. You need the new kidney fairly soon.’ The gold fish in the print that hangs on the wall behind her to the left of the window becomes a fixation of mine. ‘What do you do, Jess? Are you studying?’ ‘Yes, creative writing. I want to be a writer.’ ‘How extrodinary. I hate writing. It is one of my least favorit things to do.’ She thinks i am amazing because I write and I think that she is amazing because she will cut me open and play tetris with my internal organs.