“Birds ate it,” I wanted to tell them.
Birds ate my face.
But nobody wanted to know. Then nobody doesn’t include Brandy Alexander.
Just don’t think this was a big coincidence. We had to meet, Brandy and me. We had so many things in common. We had close to everything in common. Besides, it happens fast for some people and slow for some, accidents or gravity, but we all end up mutilated. Most women know this feeling of being more and more invisible everyday. Brandy was in the hospital for months and months, and so was I, and there’s only so many hospitals where you can go for major cosmetic surgery.
Jump back to the nuns. The nuns were the worst about …show more content…
Halfway down the bridge of her nose, she’d look at me through wire-framed glasses, their lenses long and squared the way microscope slides look. Little broken veins kept the end of her nose red. Rosacea, she called this. It would be easier to see her living in a gingerbread house than a convent. Married to Santa Claus instead of God. The starched apron she wore over her habit was so glaring white that when I’d first arrived, fresh from my big car accident, I remembered how all the stains from my blood looked black.
They gave me a pen and paper so I could communicate. They wrapped my head in dressings, yards of tight gauze holding wads of cotton in place, metal butterfly sutures gripping all over so I wouldn’t unravel. They fingered on a thick layer of antibiotic gel, claustrophobic and toxic under the wads of cotton.
My hair they pulled back, forgotten and hot under the gauze where I couldn’t get at it. The invisible woman.
When Sister Katherine mentioned this other patient, I wondered if maybe I’d seen him around, her lawyer, the cute, funny …show more content…
“Since his little mishap,” she said and smiled with her eyebrows arched and all her chins tucked down against her neck. “He wasn’t wearing his seatbelt.”
She said, “His car rolled right over the top of him.”
She said, “That’s why he’d be so perfect for you.”
Early on, while I was still sedated, somebody had taken the mirror out of my bathroom. The nurses seemed to steer me away from polished anything the way they kept the suicides away from knives. The drunks away from drinks. The closest I had to a mirror was the television, and it only showed how I used to look.
If I asked to see the police photos from the accident, the day nurse would tell me, “No.” They kept the photos in a file at the nursing station, and it seemed anybody could ask to see them except me. This nurse, she’d say, “The doctor thinks you’ve suffered enough for the time being.”
This same day nurse tried to fix me up with an accountant whose hair and ears were burned off in a propane blunder. She introduced me to a graduate student who’d lost his throat and sinuses to a touch of cancer. A window washer after his three-story tumble head first onto concrete.
Those were all her words, blunder, touch, tumble. The lawyer’s mishap. My big