there are about half a dozen reasons why i do not have a belly button piercing. the first of which is because they are gross. i just can’t imagine the sex appeal of a 70 year old with a belly button piercing. gravity is a bitch and eventually all things up will go down (and that dear friend is not a euphemism). my other reasons for not piercing any element of my nether regions are strictly related to an extensive unreasonable and completely hysterical fear of seeing my own blood. now i know what you are thinking, but you’re a woman, you bleed monthly for several days. aha! my dear friend i do not.
i do not bleed. i have never received the curse. mother nature doesn’t care for me. and aunt flow never bothered to visit. i’m not a hermaphrodite. although i think that would be awesome. being anything other than who i am would be awesome to me. but a hermaphrodite i am not. i simply have a sealed vagina. my pediatrician long ago diagnosed me with an imperforate hymen. my father, a devote bishop, believed it was a sign from above that i would remain chaste for life. so the surgery the good doctor recommended went undone because my father decided that this act of God should go unmolested (pun intended).
so here i sit on the eve of what would have been a minor surgical procedure at 2 am but has now become a major life or death event pondering belly button rings and asking why can i not have the last bit of wine from a glass half gone. my partner in life and all things nonsexual (the sealed vagina makes sex impossible) has gone out for a walk. he can’t handle the pressure of seeing me so close to a knife and possibly death and definitely cannot stomach my dry humor.
‘i think i should be allowed to take the morphine drip now.’ i tell the night nurse checking my temperature for the thirteenth time.
‘are you in pain?’ she asks most sincerely.
i want to lie. seriously i do. nothing would make me feel better right now than the sheer numbness of feeling and a simple medically supervised morphine drip would do the job. but a liar i am not, ‘no. i’m actually quite comfortable.’ i hate my ethics. sometimes.
she smiles at me and then asks me to open my mouth for the temperature check. i thought that the doohickey attached to my finger did an automatic temperature check so i’m a little leery of the woman with the violet eyes who keeps asking me to open my mouth.
most people hate hospitals. not me though i happen to enjoy staying in hospitals. i find the constant motion and beep beeping sounds of machines in every corner quite soothing. it probably has a lot to do with the fact that since i go boobs, i’ve been in and out of emergency rooms with severe abdominal pain and bloating. i’ve been poked, prodded and drained but still the agony of have a sealed primary organ meant to bleed out at least once month haunts me and hinders me from the wonders and joys and an adult sex life.
if i said i was pissed off at my father for making such a decision for me without my consent without even listening to the doctors and nurses and even the damn order of his church i would be making a guinness book world record of understatements. his decision wrecked my life and is probably at the seat of my rejection of all things christian. if this oxycontin coursing through my system were any stronger i would probably be singing the lord’s praises and beseeching my father (who is in heaven) for forgiveness. but they put me on this generic shit and i’m not even getting a buzz so my angry waves toward daddy dearest are still pretty intense and intact.
he walks in and even though its past 2 am and i will be wheeled out this room in 3 hours for a marathon surgery to end all the wars that have been raging in my nether regions since the time breast first perked plumply on my chest my knees go weak and i manage a wetness there only he can muster. leaning in to give me a kiss i can smell the nicotine on his breath. because i know he is worried about me i don’t nag (this once) about it.
‘what are you going to do when i’m all healed up?’ i tease.
‘everything i’ve ever wanted to do but couldn’t because it hurt you so bad.’ his voice is low and hoarse from too little sleep. i reach up to him and he comes in for a kiss that is deep and full of longing and makes me cry from a space in me i have yet to name. when he pulls away i inch over to make room for him next to me.
‘they almost wouldn’t let me back in here.’ he puts his arm around me and i sink into his shoulder. ‘told me only family could spend the night,’ he sighs and whispers into my ear, ‘ don’t you think it’s time you make an honest man out of me?’
i laugh. he’s been asking me to marry him every day for the last three years. and everyday for three years i have turned him down. i’m beginning to think i may be more fucked up than originally diagnosed. i kiss his neck, ‘when i come out of surgery in the morning you can bring a chaplain to my room and we can get hitched right then and there.’
‘don’t fuck with me sadie, cause you know i’ll do it.’ he tells me in his very stern very serious voice that really makes me want to unhook all these wires and undo his pants.
‘ah…but we are here,’ i wave my hand across the room, ‘dear marcus so that you can in fact fuck me.’
he laughs again and kisses the top of my head. ‘tell me the run down again.’ i whisper. in his arms i am growing sleepy. i know that a few more words from him and i will finally drift off no longer able to fight the sleep that has been beckoning me for hours.
‘at 5 am they are going to come and get you. i will cry,’ i jerk my head up but he puts his fingers to my lips to keep me quiet. ‘you promised me four tears. you said i was allowed four tears and i’m taking that chance.’ i nod and assume the position nestled next to his heart. ‘after i get my four tears i will wipe my eyes and call your mother. she is not allowed to come to the hospital. but i am allowed to keep her updated with your hourly progress.’ i nod into his chest. the thought of my mother showing up to do whatever it is that she thinks she needs to do makes my skin crawl.
he continues, ‘in surgery they will sedate you with some pretty powerful shit. the doctors say you will sleep the sleep of the dead, but before they knock you out they’re going to numb all your nether regions…a spinal block i think they said. you asked them to please give you that drug only after they have sedated you. you even signed off on the risks.’ he leans back to look at me, ‘babe, we really need to get you help about this needle and blood thing after this, okay?’ and because those deep brown eyes are so rich in chocolatey goodness and i know that i am only weeks away from having him sink into me and i am drugged up on this no-name morphine and feeling so sleepy and underwater that i would probably agree to walking on the bottom of the ocean to serve bacon to a whale, i nod.
‘when you’re under they will cut you below your belly button, well, lower than that even because the doctor said if you wanted after you’re all healed you’d be able to wear a bikini.’ yeah, right, i say to myself and then remember reason number 4 four for why i will never have belly button piercing, surgical scar. ‘i like the idea of you in a bikini.’
‘don’t be getting me all hot and bothered,’ i manage to slur.
‘yeah, you looking real sexy right now in your hospital gown, drooling on my sweatshirt.’ he laughs and uses his sleeve to wipe my slobber. ‘they are going to try their best to clear up all the scarring that you have. the doc is worried that you may loose some of your bowel and maybe even your uterus and tubes. but she said that she would do her very best to keep you fertile.’ i snort. fertile? who the fuck cares for fertile, i just want to be alive and walking when all this is over and able to fuck my boyfriend without pain. i nestle in even closer and know that in moments i will be sleeping.
‘in all the doctors say the surgery will take 4 hours. i’m going to be here in the waiting room. i’m not going anywhere and i won’t let your mother come and ruin your recovery either. i got you baby,’ he gave me a little squeeze and i opened the door to sleep.
‘don’t drink my wine,’ i told him. ‘and that’s my chocolate too that i left on the shelf in the frig. it’s better be there when i get home.’
i finally let sleep take me listening to his hushed promises for full bottle of dry white wine and 3 pounds of dark chocolate.