Dear Facebook friends. (Both of you. And you in the back. There! That one. Stop pretending you don’t know me! OK. Fine.) I don’t do prayers. Maybe meditations. Definitely divinations. Or derelictions of duty. That I do a lot of. Or Bitcoin! I take Bitcoin.
It is obscene O’clock in the morning on April 13. Friday the 13th. I am now going into Yale New Haven Hospital. I am going to have my heart operated on. It’s finally worn out after all these years of being a heartless person. They will open an ax like wound in my sternum and sneak into my ticker with a garden hose, upon which they will tweak, of sorts, my aorta, replacing its valve with a substitute valve, culled from a pig, a cow, or a wino plucked from the streets of New Haven. Or whatever. I don’t know and I don’t want to know who, what, when, where, or why. Hey? They’re also going to put a corset on my aorta. Or a hairnet. Whatever. And maybe ream out my heart arteries. Enough, already.
I’ve got to shower with this super antiseptic bio weapons grade Russian nerve agent soap the night before, and the day of, my surgery. Germs, beware. Kristin will be bringing me into the hospital at Yale shortly. I hope my surgery team members are all bonesmen. Or at least able to prescribe good drugs. That’s the only reason I’m here. And don’t forget to validate my parking ticket.
I’m in a good place. I’ve lost weight and am of an acceptable gross mass. My blood pressure is suburb and my chemistry set is fine. Good cholesterol is good, bad cholesterol is properly pulmonated. Yes, I know. That doesn’t make sense but I liked how it rhymed. Kidneys, liver, stomach, and other haggis meats are roaring a’plenty. And, of course, my ticker.
Every doctor who has metaphorically reached inside my rib cage over the past half century has told me that my heart is ‘very strong.’ As in, Industrial Strength strong. Super Heart strong. Marvel Superhero strong! Guardians of the Rib Cage strong. I chalk that up to peasant genes. All of my ancestors were dirt farmers. No aristocracy there. We were the ones driving the pitchforks, not the ones dying on them. So watch it!
All of which means I am in a good place for this little inconvenience of a valve that got too sticky in my mother’s womb and glued itself partially shut. Sixty three years later and it’s ready to be replaced. And maybe, like I said, they’ll scrape out some gunk in my heart arteries if they get a chance. And perhaps replace parts of my aorta while they’re at it, sorta. Or install some new O-rings. One stop shopping. You know. A tune up. Past due.
While we’re poking about, why don’t we just take care of this pesky, pokey little thing right here…? Pass the pipe cleaner. STAT! Gotcha!
OK. Pesky things be purloined. And don’t forget the tear in my aorta I got in that knife fight in Brooklyn a few years ago. Ya. Keep an eye on that, Whasup? OK. Yes. I know. It was a motorcycle accident, I remember. But a knife fight sounds more West Side Story and I desperately need something to make me sound cool. Chicks love that sort of shit.
So I’m going into the Big House for an operation. Oops. They like calling it a 'procedure' now a’days. Like Robespierre performed a 'procedure' on Marie Antoinette. Have at it, Yale doctor people. As you wish.
The wizard has a gift for me in his bag of tick-tick-ticks.
Who am I to wonder why, or nix his bag o’ tricks?
Just an old buzzard who ain’t gonna die.
It’s been tried before. Yet here, still, am I.
Still living. For the kicks.
Do pray for me,
Or play with me,
Don’t pity me,
Or wonder ye on that which I endure.
No sway for me,
Nor way for me,
To stay from thee,
Again, you’ll see. To thee I shall be sure.
Through pain I see,
Rehab to be.
As was I once, and am, I will return.
The heart’s a free,
Replete with glee,
And boundless be. Once, twice, and ever firm.
This, too, shall pass,
To lose? Or grasp?
That life can’t last?
Tomorrow ends. No time for cruel regrets.
Instead, take Now!
Its bounty know,
With every bow,
Live it thus. In the time that life begets.
The man who waits,
Hides from his fates,
Time abates, losing middle, first and last.
Life is sublime.
Each gasp, in time.
Take it! As I am!
One more step. Each and every breath is best.
To everything. To one. To all. To life.