The house should have been covered in clouds, but it wasn't. Nonetheless, it was bleak outside and about to snow.
I am standing by the operating table. The surgeon, a very large man, is wearing nothing more than gloves that seem to cover his entire body. I suppose the face mask and green surgical cap are separate from the gloves that swath themselves into a surgical gown, scrubs and the covers of his shoes.
I really don't know why I am here.
The pateint is a cadaver dug up from behind the house, fully rotten and some months foetid. I wonder why they are operating. I wonder if this is an autopsy, or an operation. I suspect it is an operation.. the surgeon is wearing gloves that cover his entire body. He turns to his side to ask two stubby, chinese dwarves, similarly dressed, for scissors and odd pieces of surgical, stainless steel instruments. With much perspiration on his brow he plunges them into the abdomen of the cadaver. Surely no one would need to use so many instruments or wear full body gloves if this were an autopsy..
As far as I can see no skin is left to cover the abodomen. The sternum rotted long ago so that the thorax has caved in upon itself. The two chinese dwarves insert a metal tray under the jagged ends of the lower rib cage and lift a pile of festering excrement some inches from the gangrenous flesh of the abdomen. This is what remains of the liver. I don't understand why they seem so interested in it. The surgeon takes a scalpel and begins carving layers of the mass from the top. He removes a few branches and pieces of metal, tossing them to the side, but exclaims 'A-HA!' when he pulls on what I initially percieve to be a root of some sort. He calls for me to come closer in speech sounding vaguely germanic.
'Do you know what this is?'
'The hepatic artery.'
'Ahhh, yesss.' He returns to his dissection, cleaning the dirt and
grime from the artery before slicing it open longitudinally. Small
pellets of used rabbit food fall from the crusty lumen of the vessel.
I suspect they are blood clots. However, as he moves further into the mass
of liver the clots become more viscous and fluid . . I notice that small
white spermatozoa with greatly enlarged heads and short, whip-like
tails fall from the clumps.
They fall upon the floor with a crisp popping sound, and bounce in all directions on a glistening wash of mucus that has pooled under the dissecting table.. A small boy in nothing more than shorts runs under the dissecting table and stomps them with his bare feet. Shouldn't somebody put a pair of shoes on that boy? I mean, we don't know if these things are infectious. We don't know what else is living in these shit-balls, I mean, it could be . . it could be ..
Schistosomonas... liver flukes...
We must be in Malaysia.
The surgeon turns to me again.
'And vaaer diid zhay kom fran?'
I don't really know what he wants me to say, but I sense the rote answer swelling in my throat, 'Intestinal, from the portal circulation, but they need a higher oxygen content so they migrate to the artery..' or should that be the hepatic vein? I rub my throat to relieve the unexpected tension; it is like holding a live wire to one's neck.
He mumbles something and returns to his work. I now realize
the operation is to release the parasites from the body. It has
nothing to dowith the cadaver. I recall an experience with projected
slides, or an omnimax video in a dark room.. Some of the sperm
were blue, a mottled, turqoise blue.. there was something
significant about a blue infestation versus a white one.
'Did you see any falling out that were a Polish blue?' I can imagine them severing the superior mesenteric and watching a flood of mottled blue tadpoles hitting the floor with a loud, continuous 'SPLATT!,' the small boy runs under the table to squash them with his bare feet, but he finds the color intriguing and saves a few in a glass jar which he takes with him into the kitchen.
All I remember about the kitchen are the rows of large hack saws hanging from the ceiling, and endless piles of dirty dishes littering the counters. In the squalor they administer intravenous fluids to what they discover in the barren orchard behind the house.
The surgeon tells me this infestation is purely white. He takes me by the back of head and pushes my face towards the exposed artery where I can see the latest parasties emerging from the artery in their balls of shit. One rotates around. It uses it's tail to clean away the grist. The tail is forked!! How odd.. It flips the tail up and down, wriggling each end until it is free.... I didn't know sperm could have forked tails...
That would be pretty cool, life-size sperm with forked tails..
I sense my body has twisted at least 720 degrees for me to stand at my distant location yet place my head so close to the artery. It takes a while for me to figure which way I need to unwind. In doing so I notice the little boy returning from the kitchen with another glass jar, this one filled with a frothy, proteinaceous liquid emitting a faint glow.