Now that Ashley has begun the first of her two summer internships, there are a few things I’ve had to adjust to. The most notable of these is that, most of the time, I’m alone in a house with ten friggin’ cats! Seriously? If I don’t show up to work one day look for my body parts in the litter box.

Another thing is that she’s gone most evenings. When the person you speak to more than anyone else on the planet is suddenly not around as much, you notice. Like the other day. I had to watch our neighbors go through a break-up-and-move-out right in the middle of our shared driveway, and I had to watch this all by myself. As I sat there, peeking through the blinds in the bathroom, all I could think was how much more fun it would have been if Ashley’d been there peeking through the blinds with me. I imagine it felt something like when James Cameron watches his old home movies in regular old 2D: the experience was good, sure, but lacking something indefinable.

Everything is quiet all the time. That’s another thing. Though I’m sure my family will remember back when my brother and I used to make like we were Def Leppard jamming in our bedroom, it turns out I just don’t tend to make a whole lot of noise. I’m not the kind of person to leave the TV on. I might play some tunes, but I do it through headphones because my headphones sound better. Otherwise, reading and typing on the computer’s about as noisy as it gets. I would be shushing monks and librarians, is what I’m saying.

But without a doubt the oddest thing is being on the receiving end of text messages from someone working in the field of organ transplantation. Yesterday, for example, was this:

Going to surgery at 3!!

Now, I can imagine that there are some people excited about going to surgery. People finally undergoing gender-reconstructive surgery, for example, are probably excited about it. Nervous, but excited. But you have to remember that when Ashley talks about going to surgery, she means standing by while doctors removing organs from deceased patients.

So to me her text reads like this:

Me and a bunch of people at work are going to stand in a room with a dead guy at 3!!

Few will argue the necessity of organ transplantation more ardently than I; yet, it’s a good thing that she wasn’t around to see my face when I read her message. To see the courage it took to text her back with an equal number of exclamation points.

Today we had the following exchange:

Me: Our flight is booked.
Ash: Nice. In OR now. Heart is about to come out.

See? It’s already weird as hell. All I can picture is that dude from Temple of Doom being like some team-building-exercise leader.

“And so now I’m just going to let myself fall back and you’ll all catch me. It’s about trust, people.”

To continue:

Me: You’re texting me from the OR?
Ash: Yep.
Me: That seems odd…is that odd?
Ash: No. I’m not sterile so I’m not gloved and we have our phones to keep in contact with the office.

Well okay sure. When you put it like this it makes sense. So I figured since texting is okay in the office, why not sexting? Maybe it’s not the best idea, but few things work better to get me used to something than being just plain silly about it.

Me: Oh. Well then. What’re ya wearin’?
Ash: Scrubs lol.
Me: Oooh. Yeah baby. Papa like.

See? Getting into it a little bit. Trying to work my mojo just a touch. But then this:

Ash: Lungs are about to come out.

And we’re done.

Turns out I can’t have a conversation, salacious or otherwise, while I know that organs are being removed in the relatively near vicinity of my fellow conversationist. I never knew that about myself, so I guess there’s just one more thing to get use to.


One comment on “adjusting

  1. To be clear, when I said I’m not sterile, that means I am not ‘dr scrubed in’ and wearing a sterile gown or any thing like that. I am wearing the head covering, booties, mask, and gloves just not the sterile kind needed if touching the patient or organs. My job is to assist and clean up without breaking the sterile field where the instruments and things the docs use are. Hope that helps:) We are professional!

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