Friday, July 05, 2002

Eight terminations on Wednesday. We get tissue samples shipped to us automatically. Eight little slivers of chicken breast floating in pink lemonade gone flat and syrupy, masquerading as something scientific like cell growth media. Eight little pancreases in a row. All we get to see of the lives that won't happen now, lives that maybe never would have been anyway. They might have miscarried, been stillborn. Been left to drown in the bathtub while mommy entertained.

Eight women recuperating on the 4th of July. Independence Day. Independence of thought, word, and action. Independence. Not something you can have with a child, not really. Well, you can, but baby can't. Baby needs changed. Baby needs burped. Baby needs fed. Baby barely has the motor control to suck on her own big toe. Design flaw there I suspect: making us all start out so utterly helpless, dependant on an unknown being for almost everything short of breathing.

Eight lives irrevocably altered by this procedure (ever the medical euphemisms, typical doctors)

I wonder if the fathers knew. If they agonized with their lovers, held her hand, paid for the taxi...made them do it?

What if it was me? Would it feel like murder? Even though I know it's just a ball of cells; a highly organized growth; a semi benign tumor: my beliefs make it difficult to forget that everything has a spirit, makes it harder to think of them as tissue samples. How many tissue samples have the potential for independent life? Independence. There's that word again. Independence to write a sonata; paint a landscape; paint your toenails cherry red white and blue, get a tattoo. (Nice little rhyme that)

Eight tissue samples standing on the wall… and if one tissue sample should accidentally fall…there'll be a biological hazard spill kit on hand to clean it up.

Free flow free flowSPLAT. Got distracted, my boy walked in.

*sigh* No babies here please. It would go the way of the tissue sample; and I can't be sure I wouldn't hate myself for it. I'll serve medical science for now by processing other people's split condoms and missed pills. Tissue sample. Tiny scrap of flesh in a tube. Not a person. Trouble is: none of us really knows when that transition occurs, though I'd like to think I've progressed past the stage of being merely a benign growth. Lord and Lady let it not be a progression to being a malignant one.

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