By lex, on November 14th, 2010
So, Friday afternoon at 1300 was the appointed hour for your correspondent to hither to Balboa Naval Hospital, for to have summat carved out of his face, the right medial cheek to be more specific. That summat being a wee, trivial thing that he was nevertheless advised really orta be excised, if only for the carcinoma that was in it.
True to his hour he was, with paperback book in hand, for while it is unacceptable for you to be late for your surgery, yea is it considered a right and even proper thing for the surgeon to dawdle whilst you cool your heels and contemplate The Meaning of Life, like.
Ushered at last into the place of flensing, made as comfortable as was possible, asked to point out where in fact I’d like to have my surgery performed, which that would be on the right medial cheek, wouldn’t it? For elsewise why would I have come, for I’m told they don’t do the cosmetic.
A marker pen traced out the thing itself, and the margin around which would be additionally excised. A generous margin too, I thought, but you’d rather get it all at one sitting than keep going after it again and again. The prick of a needle to anesthetize locally, accompanied by weak badinage, for to set me at my ease. Only it was I that was doing the badining, for the doctor and his assistant were playing it the professional. At least at first, for with the Irish skin comes Irish charm, and even the most rigid of the professorial bent cannot long resist it, and anyways it was my face they were a’carving on – I preferred that they be relaxed and even content as they were doing so: You’ll only make mistakes when you get stressed.
There will be a scar, I was solemnly foretold, to which I answered, it’ll be nothing like my first. For over the course of lo, these many years, I have had the occasion to bang myself up frightfully from time to time. And they got it all the first bout, or so I was reassured, and I’ve little doubt: The wee, little thing was taken with a good deal else, to a surprising degree actually. Any more like that and I’ll be taken for one of those mad sabreurs from the Heidelberg school of fencing: Real blades and goggles, like. But we are not, at this stage in our lives, suitable candidates for the finals in any pretty boy competition, and in time I’ll no doubt convince myself that it lends a certain character to my grizzled visage: Wounds heal, chicks dig scars, and glory lasts forever. Now I just need to manufacture a story to go with it, one that ends something along the lines of, “You should see the other guy.”
Nor will I need any make-up for next year’s Talk Like a Pirate Day, me hearties. So there’s the economy in that.
Still: Clean bill of health, and that, and the Hobbit picked me up after. I importuned upon the physician to prescribe heroic doses of massage, peeled grapes and oiled baths to help me in my recovery, but being a public servant of the naval variety, he remained obdurately opposed to any my requested luxuries. Here’s a bandage or two, off you go.
Now: Off to whack the wee, white ball around the links, and frighten the children. Do talk amongst yourselves.