Sometime last summer I contracted an infection in my left hand.
Now, I know what you’re thinking. Probably something along the lines of: “That didn’t happen,” or “Classic Dramalie,” or “Are you talking about your eczema?”
It happened. My feelings are valid and I’m not being insane, exaggerative, weird, or any of the other cute nicknames you’ve given me. I resent that most of my spare time is occupied defending my sanity to you and others.
Yes, after we broke up I almost eloped with a stranger and then five minutes later had a difficult time explaining to him that I wasn’t ready to call him my boyfriend. And yes, on more than one occasion I have expressed an interest in giving up all of my vices—yet every time you see me I smell like a drunk tobacco factory.
But I digress…
This limb thing really happened.
And I swear I was trying to find the right moment to tell you about it, but it spread to my elbow quickly. Half of my arm became gangrenous and overly sensitive. The slightest breeze would buckle me over. I began exhaustive treatments and self-medication, which slowed the growth and allowed me to retain some hope through the early fall.
But, like alcoholism, or opening a can of Pringles, it was progressive. Before you could even say, “I’m sorry I’m late and dinner has gotten cold” it had reached my shoulder.
As the infection grew the risk increased (as did the smell). Keeping you from catching the scorn I was getting from family and friends became too much, and I was going poor buying perfume.
I had to determine how attached I was to this limb. (I know: I’m so punny.) I realized that with each passing day my arm was becoming malignant and dangerous. Volatile. Disgusting. And that smell! I seriously can’t believe you didn’t notice the smell.
I decided that I could live without it. So I amputated.
Amputation is a strange thing. Immediately all you feel is suffering. The pain sort of blinds you of all other emotions. But then that subsides and you begin the five stages of grief.
Denial: I’m normal, I’ll just try on a couple of prosthetics and I bet they’ll fit even better than my real arm did.
Anger: NONE OF THEM FIT. THEY ARE ALL BULLSHIT AND FAKE. EVERYONE ELSE HAS A LEFT ARM. BULLSHIT. YELLING.
Bargaining: This stage included constant visits to the gravesite of said dead arm to rehash what went wrong. Why did the infection start? Did I not try enough treatments? Not take enough showers? Maybe I can dig it up and sew it back on.
Depression: My dead arm is too gross to dig up and sew back on :(
Acceptance: You know, these prosthetics feel weird, but maybe in kind of a good way. Am I even disfigured? Or am I just awesome?
You see, ex-fiancé, we weren’t even together for a year and I turned into the one armed man from Twin Peaks. That’s what went wrong. Of course I experience some phantom limb pain now that you, my furunculous non-dominant appendage, are gone. And I’m sorry I didn’t lose my right arm, the one without the ring.
But mostly I’m just enjoying wreaking havoc around town.