Saturday, October 2, 2010

The Better to See You With

My sister has moved on from Orthopedics and into Ophthalmology. 
            "And I have to tell you" she told me. "It's SQUEAMISH."
I laughed. "Really? Last week you sat in on a -and I quote - 'rather messy hip replacement' without twitching an eyebrow. Suddenly, eye exams are more disturbing/squeamy than some of the other body parts you've been playing with?"
My sister sighed. "Extend your imagination." She said impatiently. "I'm sit in a sterile room under very bright lights watching a gigantic magnified image of needles being plunged into EYEBALLS."
I extended my imagination and it went places. Terry Gilliam had mostly been there first.
            "Uh." I said eventually, inadequately, from where I lay curled up in a very tight ball in the corner of my chair.
My sister gave a gurgling laugh. "It's ALL relative. There's squeamy, and then there's EYEBALLS."

She graduates in December. She's one-third of the organizing team for the graduation ball, and has me designing the invitations. The work moves slowly.
            "I'm soooooo sorry I didn't call to talk about the drawings. I've been in conference with my fellow directors" she said, rolling her 'r's. "I'm working on my speech."
            "You get to give a speech?"
            "It's my party, isn't it?" She giggled. "You want to hear it?  It goes like this"  She paused portentously and cleared her throat.
            "AHEM.  Distinguished Guests. Families. Friends. Fellow doctors."  She paused again.
            "- and that's ALL I'VE GOT!" she shrieked, screaming with laughter.  "We're DOCTORS!"
The phone line dissolved into static and I didn't get any sense out of her for more than an hour.

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