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Ferris, Jim / Facts of life

Post-op,   pp. 21-22

Page 21

Waking up in a bin of cotton- 
you just want to clear this stuff from your eyes, 
your ears, most of all your mouth. The room 
jumps like it touched something hot, spins away, 
and you puke into this curved steel basin 
by your mouth. Bitter, but you feel better 
as you spit the taste out. Mrs. Spoerl 
comes over, and her perfume makes 
you want to puke again, but you don't. 
She wipes your mouth-how are you feeling?- 
takes the basin away. You think 
maybe that's not a good idea, 
but she's back with a fresh one before you 
can puke again. Her hand on your forehead, 
it feels so cool, so good and normal that 
you don't want to have to puke again but 
oh God it's another bucketful- 
it feels like a gallon but you never 
fill that emesis basin, thank God. 
She takes your temp, checks your blood pressure, 
gives you a shot for pain. And then you're gone. 
This heavy ocean throws you up 
on shore from time to time. You puke, suck 
on ice chips, and loll there like a dinghy 
in the trough of a wave. The afternoon 
waltzes, when awake you notice the cast- 
it feels hot-the pain, your mouth, your gut, 
your head. This is not fun. The puke pan 
feels good against your skin. You cling to it, 
a straw against this pitching sea. You felt 
fine this morning; now you can't quite recall 
your name, but you remember Mrs. Spoerl, 
Mrs. Spoerl, Mrs. Spoerl. Recovery room. 

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