Enjoying your Wednesday? Let me help you with that.
My dad has a whole lot of gray and silver hair now. He’ll die soon.
Helen is super depressing and talks about how if she comes to grips with it now, she’ll be super strong and composed when her dad kicks the bucket. Instead of, you know, just enjoying her time with him.
One thing my father’s short visit accomplished is that I now know how I can remain in the hospital longer. All I have to do is sit on the ring pillow with a lot of pressure and my wound will rip open again.
I take a painkiller. A little numbness is something I’m definitely going to want.
You have to admire this chick’s dedication to getting her parents back together.
Helen makes her way across the room to the wardrobe, gets the pillow, puts it on her bed.
I wiggle around on my ass. A little this way, a little that way, it’s not difficult. With the movement, the skin of the wound really strains. I stand up and feel around back there with my hand. No blood! You promised too much, Valerie.
Helen is disappointed and starts looking around the room for other options.
Metal nightstand: useless. Bottle of water on the nightstand: you could stick it in, but I don’t think you’d be able to hurt yourself with it the way I need to. Television: too high.
The spoons on the table: too harmless. Granola bowl: you can’t do anything with that. My gaze falls on the bed. There. That’s it. The brakes on the bed’s rollers.
I’m imagining one of those point and click games a la Day of the Tentacle. Where you have to figure out how to use the right object the right way. Only like a horror version.
I go as fast as I can to the end of the bed. I line my back up with it and slide awkwardly down, letting my ass land on the pedal. Now I sit on it. I wiggle back and forth. I have to scream with pain and put both of my hands over my mouth.
I hate this.
I can feel the pedal penetrating the wound. Pressing down hard I make it bore in deeper. That is going to have to do. Valiant Helen.
Or PSYCHOTIC Helen. This girl needs some serious help.
I’m crying and shaking with pain. It must have worked. my test hand makes its way down and wipes around. I look. My entire palm is covered with fresh, red blood. I need to lie down fast or I’m going to faint right there.
She quickly gets into bed, so that she can make it look like it happened on its own. I have no idea how she thinks that will work.
It hurts like hell. I’m still holding my mouth shut. Tears stream down my face. Should I call somebody now or wait so the wound makes more of an impression? I’ll wait. I can manage. Be sure to wipe of the brake pedal, Helen, and get rid of the evidence. The homorrhoid pillow I hide under the covers. I can take care of that later. More and more blood is gushing out.
Ugh this is awful. CALL THE NURSE.
I lie down in a pool of my own blood and cry. I open my eyes and see an upside-down bottle cap from the mineral water on my nightstand. I take it in my hand and try to catch my tears. I can distract myself from the horrible pain with this challenge, and maybe I’ll find a use for the tears later. I almost never cry. But now its just spewing out of me. Tears up top, blood down below.
She FINALLY pushes the buzzer, and hides the bottle cap on her nightstand. She’s desperate, now, hoping somebody comes fast because she’s losing a lot of blood.
So much has gushed out of me that it’s dripping onto the floor. […] I lie in bed and look at my blood on the floor. There’s more and more. Interesting view. It’s beginning to look like a butcher’s shop in here.
Helen starts to panic, and hammers on the button some more.
[…] they could use a more clever system for communications between the patients and staff. One buzz: I need a little more butter for my whole grain bread. Two buzzes: please bring a flower vase with water. Three buzzes: help, blood is gushing out of my ass so fast that I hardly have enough left in my brain to think straight and I’m stuck here thinking up stupid says to improve the hospital.
Moral of the story? Don’t reopen your ass wound with a brake pedal.
She remembers the pedal and gets up to go wipe it off, almost slipping in her blood. She wipes the pedal with her gown and gets back into bed, wondering if she should make a commotion and try to walk down the hall, leaving a trail of blood behind her. I’m honestly surprised she doesn’t.
Robin shows up and he goes pale, saying he’s going to call the doctor, and then tracking blood everywhere.
An anesthesiologist comes in and asks Helen if she’s had anything to eat, and she had granola, so they can’t put her under general anesthetic. He says she’ll need an epidural. Helen is unsettled by how a usually calm person is rushing around.
They think I’ve lost too much blood to fast. Once I realize they think the same thing I do, I’m sick with fear – afraid I may die as a result of my plan to get my parents back together. That wasn’t part of the plan.
Maybe something you should have thought of before ripping your asshole apart?
She thinks about how scary it is to get injections in the spine, worrying about whether or not she’ll ever feel sex again. I think that’s the least of your worries here, Helen.
He says it’ll take fifteen minutes to take effect, so she starts watching the clock. I need to take this opportunity to talk about how super uncomfortable and on edge I am during this whole chapter. It’s gross and weird and I don’t know how anyone came up with this, but it is extremely good writing because I am freaking out the whole time. The sense of urgency and fear emanating from these pages is palpable.
Robin comes in and says the doctor is preparing for emergency surgery.
Emergency operation. Man oh man, that sounds bad. But also important and exciting. As if I’m important. This is a good time to lure my parents here.
I write down my parents’ numbers for Robin and ask him to call them during the operation and tell them to come down here.
They start wheeling her into the operating room and she starts freaking out because it’s only been five minutes and she can still feel everything.
I’m not going to let them stick their tools up my ass until fifteen minutes have elapsed. Whether I bleed to death or not. Very defiant, Helen, but stupid. You don’t want to die.
She fantasizes about how her death would be the perfect opportunity for her parents to get back together, and I want to reach into the book and shake her. This type of thinking is extremely unhealthy, and why has nobody gotten her a therapist or something??
She gets sidetracked, thinking about how that would be counterproductive because she wouldn’t be able to experience their reunion, because she knows there’s no heaven.
The reputed soul, the memory, every little recollection and bit of love will be turned into worm shit along with the brain. And the eyes. And the pussy. Worms can’t tell the difference. They eat synapses as happily as they eat clitorises.
She keeps track of every clock as Robin clumsily rushes her to surgery, lamenting the fact that she still has feeling in her legs.
Robin explains that we’ll be ready to go as soon as the operating room’s cleared out. […] I tell him: “I’m not a stickler when it comes to tidiness. They don’t need to clear the place on my account. I’m happy to have a look at what was going on in there before.”
Robin and the anesthesiologist laugh. Typical, Helen. Even in the worst situations you’ve still got a zinger on the tip of your tongue. It’s just so none of them notice how scared I am of them and of having their hands up my ass. I’m very proud of the flexibility of my sphincter muscle during sex, but several adult-male hands is too much for me.
Well, at least she has a line.
She grabs Robin’s hand, and squeezes it tight, terrified that there are still five more minutes until the epidural will kick in.
They have to wait five more minutes. No. Don’t. I can still feel everything. Please don’t start, I think. But don’t say. It’s your fault, Helen. You wanted to bleed and this is what you got yourself into. […]
“I’m scared, Robin.”
“Me too, for you.”
Understood. He loves me.
End of chapter. Too bad I can’t drink me some whiskey right about now.