The surgeons do not have bodies. They are cloaked in blue. They have no hair, no lips, teeth, no ethnic nose, no hair. They have no legs – they are floating.
They enter the room, their hands still wet and fragrant from their cleansing. The hands are held out in the air like the erected hands of zombies. They dart from contact. They escape connection. Other hands stretch open a pair of perfect white gloves. The hands dive into them, searching for the fit. They write and squirm in their latex like an octopus pulling himself into his own skin. They test their strength, their flexibility in their new skin. They are little creatures cut off from everything else.
The amazing thing about the hands is the precision. No, not the precision: the stillness. They do not move before they think. They do nothing without thought. But once they have decided, the hands move with robotic accuracy and mechanical confidence.
The children are wheeled in, already asleep, already knocked out, and they are laid on the operating table. The hands float around the bodies. They deftly unfasten clothing, they search for signs of sickness and worsening and symptoms and fluids and pulses. They probe like a stray nuzzling at a closed door. The only hesitation is after the first cut. The hand draws the blade across the skin – heavy and swift – like a scythe across a field of wheat. And for a moment there is just a thread of white across the clean infant skin. And slowly, too slowly, the hands hover over the body and the line or red rises from inside. And now it is too late to stop. The hands are like gentle piranhas – they pull the skin apart, they dive inside and feel around and touch and nibble at the soft flesh. They cradle organs. They pull intestines into the open air like long, sweet ribbons of pink taffy.
The hands wrap their strong tentacles around sharp and metallic instruments – they cut and inject and burn flesh away. You could look at them and mistake them for instruments of torture. But they are gentle in what they do. They are caked in blood; but as they cause the bleeding they are also performing a miracle. They are stepping in as God’s hands. They are opening up His children and fixing what He could not – or what He chose not to fix. The hands are a latex divine intervention.
And the hands are spiders weaving their wiry web through the skin of the young. They sew up what they tore open. They change their mind. And when they are done they peel off their new and soiled skin – they reveal something more human. They take off their robes and there is a body a face under there.
I dreamt last night that I was an anglerfish. I was swollen and rough – a small, dim bulb dangling between my yellow eyes. I lived where the pressure of the water is thick – where there is no light or living. Months go by where I do not meet another creature. It’s black and cold, endless like outer space. I exist, but existing doesn’t matter. If I weren’t here, no one would know the difference. And then my liquid gills disappear and I’m being smothered by my own atmosphere. I’m drowning in something I can no longer breathe – I’m waving my sharp fins but I’m alone and it’s dark and letting the water and salt fill me up would be so easy.
“Minimalism is not a style, it is an attitude, a way of being. It’s a fundamental reaction against noise, visual noise, disorder, vulgarity. Minimalism is the pursuit of the essence of things, not the appearance.”—Claudio Silvestrin (via afterrhours, undrcovr)