Ela scrap – Kill Order

(I’m going to post the beginnings of stories I never came back to for a while)

It starts off with something small.  You stub your toe on the way to the bathroom.  Then on the drive into work jackass with a cup of coffee in one hand and their phone in the other driving with one knee almost clips you.  After that when you’re trying to get your coffee someone cuts in front of you, blasts you with a breakfast burrito fart, and you end up with the wrong order anyway.  When you finally do get to the office a fucking Lexus with a SMILF license plate is in your spot and you’re barely in the door before you boss is on your ass about something that someone else was supposed to do.

You think that the whole world is against you. 

It’s not.  That’s just your brain being stupid.  When a mouse falls in the gears of the machine that makes frozen “meat” patties the machine wasn’t out to get it.  Doesn’t make the mouse any less ground up and dead but the point is that it’s not personal.  The machine doesn’t care because it can’t care, it’s a machine.  The world is the same way, dispassionate, rational, uncaring.  It only seems like everyone is out to get out. 

Except when they really are.

The whole thing started with a freaking mammogram.  Can you believe that?  I’m not tall-tall but I’m lady-tall so it’s always an ordeal because my boobs don’t line up right with the machine.  Why the hell doesn’t that god damn boob smashing machine adjust up and down farther?   You explain that to me.  Sometimes they try to bring me a chair so I can sit for the boob smash but then I’m too low.  I can’t crouch because that screws up the test or whatever fucking reason so I end up doing a half side split yoga pose to get low enough so they spatchcock my tits.  This after ten minutes of pulling and tugging and groping to get them into the right position. 

Hold your breath!

You know what you don’t want to see when you’re getting a mammogram, or any kind of doctor visit?  Frowning.  I’ve been robbed at gunpoint, some punk kid held a knife to my throat to steal my bike, and I can tell you that I’ve experienced nothing more chilling than looking through that weird window into the next room and seeing the doctor looking at my file and frowning.  The dead could rise and it wouldn’t scare me as much as that moment did. 

Normally you don’t even hang around, they put the squeeze on you and then you bounce and get your results the next day, so that made it all the more fucking terrifying.  Why was the doctor (are radiologists doctors?  I should know more about who’s feeling me up) asking to see me?  Cancer, that’s what my brain was screaming at me.  Wrong again brain you idiot. 

It was something much worse.

I resolved to take the news like a champion.  Don’t cry.  That’s what my grandma always told me.  What’s the use of crying?  You have to meet life head-on.  You get bad news?  Fine.  Take the hit and keep moving forward.  Did she cry when the Nazis occupied Belgium?  Did she cry when the Allied bombs killed her entire family?  Did she cry when she got to America and everyone was a huge asshole?  No.  She started clearing out space for herself.  Crying don’t back anyone off, you want room to breath? Start throwing elbows.  That’s what my grandma told me.

“Is there something wrong” I asked, immediately failing and starting to cry a little bit.

“No, no” she assured me in the most un-reassuring tone possible “there’s nothing to worry about, just something odd.”

Something odd?  Something odd?!  Are you trying to give me a heart attack doc?  Remember that episode of Seinfeld where George freaks out (like every other episode) because his doctor looks at a spot on his lip and says “I don’t know what that is”.  Why are doctors so bad at not scaring the crap out of us?  Sugar-coat it doc, throw me a bone!

“Odd like the machine didn’t work or . . . uh, do you even get results this fast?”

She glanced at the file again “Are you wearing any kind of perfume or oils?”

I shook my head “No, I did put on deodorant this morning.”

She eyed me over the edge of the file “Have you traveled out of the country recently?  Specifically to South America, Africa, or Southeast Asia?”

“What?  No.  What is this about?”

I could see sweat beading on her forehead “I’m sorry, I don’t mean to upset you, but there’s indications that you may have been exposed to a novel virus of some kind.”

I frowned harder “You can tell that from a mammogram?”

“We’d like for you to stay in an examination room here for . . .”

“Am I contagious?  Is that why you’re so nervous?”

“No . . . I . . . where do you work?” she asked suddenly.

She was pale as a ghost and I could see that she was sweating like a hog-whore in hog-church “What is going on?”

She sort of hunched down a little and pulled her arms into herself like she was flinching or ducking away from something.  That’s when I felt hands grasping at me from behind.  Someone, multiple sometimes, was grabbing at me and pushing me into the corner. 

Leave a Reply