The Morning After
"You know, that's some shit, when you wake up with someone. That's serious."
"I know. I've never really lived with someone. Sex is easy to come by, but waking with someone that really is something."
They look about nineteen. Upper-class. Manicures in light pink. They are dressed in light spring colors-crocus yellow and grass green. They wear impossibly high heels on nude pale legs.
I am attempting to read Lowlife by Luc Sante while I wait to see my gynecologist. I am too tired. My eyes slide off the page and stare instead at the monotonous carpet. How many nights have they spent alone, I wonder. I have, on more occassions than I care to remember, spent over a year without so much as a coffee date.
Doctor appointments, even check ups, make me more nervous than I care to admit. On one level, as someone who has essentially a Yugo for a body, my fear of these visits makes sense. How many times have I gone into visit only to be ordered a battery of tests, injections, minor surgeries, hospitalizations? On the other hand, as my mother often points out, "Well, you have made it through all those things. You'll make it again."
Yes mother, but really, I would prefer not to test that little theory.
I wake up the night before with a strangling feeling, as if my lungs have collapsed. I sit on the bed slowly trying to catch my breath feeling horribly alone. Which is odd. Because I'm not.
My gynecologist tries to converse brightly with me during the sonogram. She can't find my right ovary. "Maybe it's on eBay," I say. After several sweeps she says, "Well, we both know it's there somewhere, so let's just move on." Yes, let's just move on from the suddenly missing ovary.
I pay the receptionist after I find out that there is absolutely nothing wrong with my reproductive system. My feet, my back, my joints, my nervous system, my tiny mind-those have problems-but short of a very shy ovary, I've got the whole reproductive thing under control. I feel like I've bribed my way into a clean bill of health.
The two girls are still in the waiting room when I leave. They are experimenting with jiggling high heels off of their toes in seductive ways.
I think of the morning, waking with warm breath on my neck, an arm thrown over my body, the press of a body against my spine, that long spinal scar obscured under the embrace. The morning breathe and einstein hair forgotten in the warm comfort of nesting under the covers. That act of ultimate intimacy, to be held while unconscious, no make up, no control, no pretense.
And I think about those two girls in the waiting room. It is something to wake up with someone, but it will take them a while before they fully appreciate the wisdom of the statement.

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