Beethoven and I have been attending lots of consultations, social events where we nod and say “yeah, yeah, ok” while doctors tell us a lot of useless details, and how serious it all is, and don't laugh at our jokes. We're in the part of the job where you open the hood and everyone stands around, looks at the engine, and talks. I'm ready to do my job, which is to lay there, a task for which I am fully qualified, and sooner or later they will stop leaning on shovels and start digging, but for now we're just waiting to get a date. It's looking to be less romantic than some I've been on.
We've been consulted at by all kinds of doctors including a plastic surgeon, even though my boobs are fine. I've agreed to a “resection of paraspinal sarcoma with plastics closure.” That sounds like a ziplock, but really means they want to hack out a slab of muscle from somewhere else to plug the hole they make in my back. Creepily, they eyeballed my shoulder muscles and made remarks like “There's some good healthy tissue here, yum yum, and here... You're a prime candidate for the
cooking pot operating table.” No drooling, but they did look at me like a piece of meat.
All this wading in with hipboots and backhoes is because Beethoven measures about 8cm in diameter, some bigger than a baseball, and he'll take muscle with him when he goes, leaving a big hole that would leave me all lopsided: I'd have to find a crooked house and a crooked cat. Besides the list of nine possible problems including death, there will be permanent weakness, and likely permanent numbness, but my body contours will be “more or less normal”. Yay! Somebody thinks this is a good idea?
If I leave Beethoven alone though, he'll go back to his old ways, gaining weight and putting claws in my backbone. I try to avoid racial profiling, but his sort do metastasize, a fancy word for “have offspring in parts of your body where no one needs to be poking around.”
I won't get to keep him on my mantle. We've found a space for him at the Biorepository, a horrid catacomb of bottled specimens deeply, and mercifully, hidden under the bowels of the Hospital, where hordes of grotesque and monstrous entities lie dead but dreaming, darkly plotting a terrible Day of Retribution on which to rise and displace humanity forever. He'll be happy there.
I suppose it's for the best, but I'll hate to see him go. We're really close, we go everywhere and do everything together. Heck, we're blood brothers! Whatever happens, I know his memory will stay with me for the rest of my life; if I wasn't afraid of terrible puns I'd say he's grown on me.