Sometimes I feel the wires in my chest.
Moments when the coiled wires that wrapped my breastbone together at the end of my bypass surgery make themselves known. I don’t know if there are 3, or 4, of them bunched every inch or so under my still lip-pink scar. And sometimes it is just one, a wire end brushing a little nerve maybe, or sometimes the minutest tightening along my “zipper” as it slowly heals upon itself.
It’s most pronounced both when I get up in the morning, and when I am swimming or immediately after. It’s not a pain, really, more of an impingement, reminding me they’re not going away.
It felt like a rough brick was sown into my chest for about three full months after my surgery. Continuous. Literally every waking moment for three months.
No one had warned me. Fading only slowly – so in six months any sensation of them in me under my shirt was noticed, and I realized it was gone, like when you only realize days after a cold you’re no longer sniffling. But when your head is clogged you can’t imagine not having a cold.
I once asked my cadiologist’s nurse during a checkup, what about when I’m eventually cremated? Little bits of blackened wire – or intact coiled bands like the pseudo-goth rings you find at Hot Topic – in the ashes? She laughed and said she didn’t know; no one had ever asked her that before. It seems like an obvious question to me.
It turns out by law crematoriums have to pass a magnet through your ashes to pick up any such metal before they hand your remains over to your family, or lover.
And no, I do not pick up radio stations or have an orgasm when I walk by a microwave…
But I’ll let you touch my scar for a quarter!