there are no stitches. there are, instead, two bare incisions, each about as long as a pencil eraser, just above the scars i have from my last knee surgery five years ago. after removing my bandages today, the doctor covered up my cuts with what appeared to be glue and scotch tape, but i’m sure there are technical names.
sleep is becoming difficult. i can’t sleep on my stomach or my right side, and if i sleep on my left i have to put a pillow between my knees. i wake up several times a night, glance around my darkened bedroom, adjust sheets and pillows, fall back asleep, and have dreams in which i glance around my darkened bedroom, adjust sheets and pillows, and look over to see that you’re awake. you smile at me and we talk for a minute, but then we end up in an argument because you’re mad i didn’t wake you when i got up to go to the bathroom. i’m fine, i tell you. i can get there and back on my crutches with no problem. yes, you reply, but it’s late at night and i worry about something happening to you. well, i say, if this apartment had just one community bathroom for all sixteen units and you thought i might get stabbed in the hallway at 3 a.m., i’d be delighted to wake you up and have you come with me. but i have my own bathroom, and it’s just a few feet away. i’m safe. we keep arguing like this until somehow (continuity is abandoned here) i’m sitting up in bed eating cereal, and you’ve left for good, taking most of my bracelets with you. when i wake up, it’s only been an hour. the room looks exactly the same, except that you and my bracelets are still there, and cereal is nowhere to be found. this process repeats itself, with variant dreams, several times a night. tell me, if my dreams are going to look so much like reality, what’s the point of going to sleep?
i was right; underneath the bandages, my leg was covered in iodine.