A Monday Morning It Was... by WhispersWW

The day dawned with all the omens of a wonderful one. I awoke cleansed, shiny and bright and was looking into the light of the forthcoming hours with optimism and happiness. I enjoyed the company of my work colleagues and loved my job. The hustle and bustle of my workplace invigorated rather than tired me; even the incessant clatter & chatter didn’t worry me…focus is all in my line of work, you see. Could be messy if I were distracted.

However, what transpired on that fateful day was bad… very bad, if the truth be known. There’d been no hint, no sign, nary an inkling of the events that were to unfold over those tragic hours. It makes me shudder to recall them. But recall them I must; my therapist tells me this heartfelt outpouring is “an essential step along the path to my recovery.” I somehow have my doubts, but at this desperate juncture I am game to try anything.

So a Monday morning it was. The first Monday in December. The air, cool and dry as usual, was filled with the head-banging sound of Status Quo – “Get down deeper and down, Down down deeper and down.” God, will those lyrics ever leave my head? An ironic choice of tune given that our target for the day was, at that moment, lying face down shrouded in cloth as blue as an angel’s eye with just her blancmanged derriere cheeks mooning at all and sundry in a pose of utter indignity. Never ceases to amaze me what some people will do in the name of ‘beauty.’ Oh god, I mustn’t go off on one. Heather, she who’s my therapist, has told me I have to ‘stay on track’ during these ramblings otherwise it will all be futile. I always thought the point of rambling was to get off the track but there you go…all matter of semantics, I suppose. Anyway, where was I?...

Ah yes, I was going to introduce the main man, the conductor of our workplace orchestra and orchestrator of the dastardly deeds du jour. He who prefers heavy metal over Mahler. I am sure you can visualise him… 6’2”, tanned, muscles rippling in his forearms. Walks with a swagger and winks at anything as long as it’s female and below 24 in years and 8 in dress size. Thinks he’s God’s gift. Have often wondered how he manages to cope with us plebeian beings everyday.

Well, the day in question was the day I received the answer to my question.

As per, he strutted in snapping his gloves when all the hard ‘pre-work’ had been done. Blew a kiss at the anaesthetist (in irony it has to be said as he, the gas man, was male, 32 and incredibly, prettily camp) and began barking orders as he approached centre stage. He slowly cast his eyes over the pale, dimpled mounds smiling up at him and gently, with the most respectful of touches I have to admit, traced with his right forefinger the black ink lines that marked his battlefield for the next couple of hours.

During his moment of inner reflection I prepared myself for imminent work…this one is a demanding task master and ready we must be for he calls for us in an instant.

He raised his eyes, looked my way and my heart began its usual anticipatory race. My job is very important and responsible, you know. I cannot be complacent. I held my breath ready for the off, and then, right palm upturned and outstretched, he uttered the words that have changed my life forever,

“Nurse, laser scalpel, please.”

Laser scalpel?! Laser scalpel?! What? What? Laser? Cutting human flesh with something as ephemeral as light? Give me a break.

I strained to see what was going on. My colleagues and I had been nudged stage left so my view was somewhat obstructed. Couldn’t really see what he was doing. Laser?...oh come on. Words, admonitions, remonstrations ran through my mind at the speed of blood spurting out of a ruptured aorta.

Now you tell me, light, light, performing the delicate dance of a finely sharpened, precision-balanced surgical blade? Light, cleanly slicing through those obese buttocks…through the-oh-so delicate yet oh-so-strong layers of the skin with their tiny capillaries into the rich, yellow depth of adipose fat beneath? Puh-leeze. Is the egotistical heathen off his trolley?

No, but we were…literally. Sidelined by this stage to a bench way beyond even the edge of the action. Action that we were usually deep in the midst of. Us, sidelined. Us, who have been at the heart of this stage play since the times of the ancient Egyptians; times when high priests skilfully crafted us from obsidian and used us to perform their most sacred rituals. And now look at us. Does this man have no respect for age and experience? Casting us aside without further glance or thought because there is something newer, supposedly more efficacious around.

Oh Heather, Heather, dear therapist of mine. Enough. I am drained. This constrained rambling will have to do for now. No doubt you will say it’s not enough – that I still have a way to go on the ‘path of forgiveness.’ Well, you may be right…but I ask you…is it right to sideline us just because we are not as young as we were, because we still do things the old-fashioned way? Is it?

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Selected Amazon Links:
Contemporary Creative Nonfiction: I & Eye
Herb Gardner: The Collected Plays (Applause Books)
Spunk & Bite: A Writer's Guide to Bold, Contemporary Style