Monday, April 18, 2005

My father had a hernia operation in the early 80's, when I was still running around in a pink Garfield night shirt and my little sister had goose down for hair.

He got to spend a week or so at home afterwards, waiting for the bleeding around his stitches to stop and the general pain in his abdominal region to abate. On the weekend, he and my sister and I would sit in the living room in our pajamas (well, he didn't have any pajamas, and wore this blue, fuzzy robe of my mother's that was comically small for him, and dropped from his sizeable girth like a short curtain, giving him a particularly Muppety appearance, which made me want to hug him a lot, which he tried to suppress because of the pain) and watch James Bond movies on the video disc player and eat bacon and toast. During a nasty little scene in "The Man With The Golden Gun" where James' main lady friend gets shot at a Sumo wrestling tournament, dad abruptly sat up, said, "Holy motherfucking shit!" and then yelled for my mother. He had been resting his glass on his belly, as always, and he had punched through the incision like it was a page from a perforated notebook.

Blood soaked through my mother's Grover-like robe. My sister started crying. I, being a screamer, screamed. My mother arrived and helped my father to the bathroom, where many layers of gauze were applied and the doctor was called, who basically told them to stop the bleeding and to come in on Monday to see what could be done.

I was still screaming.

"Jesus Christ! Keep it down in there! It's just a little goddamned blood!" and then quieter, to my mother, "You'd think she was being ax murdered in there or something. For the love of God..." And then my mother's quiet mumbling, and then nothing.

I stopped screaming and focused all my attention on the dwarf butler on Scaramanga's private island. His voice was funny, and it made me and my sister laugh. She came over and put her head on my shoulder, and the two of us sat there until the credits rolled, and then we sang along with Lulu and collapsed into a smelly little goat pile.

My father emerged from the trailer's bathroom wrapped in a sheet, toga style, and put on "The Spy Who Loved Me."

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