It's my friend Sue's birthday today, and all she asked for was a new blog post. Yes, I checked her temperature and her meds - she seems to be mentally sound. At least as "sound" as she can be. So, this post is for her - and if you aren't Sue, you can close out if you want.
Except if you're Karen. Because this blog is also for her. Although Karen didn't request a new post for her birthday (which was on the 19th), she loves guts and gore. (Sue pretends she doesn't like horror, but I remember how much glee she took in Mario's torture throughout Absolution...Clarity, right Sue?)
And so, to celebrate Sue's birthday, and satisfy Karen's thirst for blood, I thought I'd share a little story not for the weak stomached. (Jess, that definitely means you...)
My family, at least on my Mom's side, has a history of goidas. I'm certain that isn't the medical term (and Jan, if you're reading this, feel free to correct my lingo). Goidas, as defined by my Nona, are unexplained head bumps. There's been much speculation as to their origin and purpose - a holding cell for brain overage (my personal favourite), a collection of fat cells (which might explain why they grow when I gain weight), a reserve for oil build-up, or alien abduction contact points.
These...goidas...start small, a little bump, barely visible beneath the hairline. But over time, they begin to grow and harden. And at some point, they become too large for even thick hair to cover.
My Mom was the first to brave their extraction. The one on the back of her skull could no longer be disguised with clever hair placement and she grew tired of my sister and I shouting, as she exited the car, "Your goida is showing!" So, unlike my Nona, she had hers removed. Blood, she said. Lots of it. (I envision Karen jumping up and down with glee here...)
About three or four years ago, I discovered my own little "goida" - on the top of my head. Small, at first, but big-time annoying. Whenever I bumped my head, I invariably nicked the thing. I lived in denial for a few years, confident I had inherited my Dad's hair and thus would never suffer the embarrassment of the peek-a-boo goida.
But then, all of a sudden, it seemed to multiply, and they (three of them now) grew with alarming speed. The most obvious one was the monster near the front of my head. A small mountain of flesh that seemed to be thinning my hair and not even thick bangs could cover it.
I'd run out of stories to tell stylists, and dodged enough close calls to realize the inevitable. The goidas would have to go.
Note: This is where weak-stomached peeps might want to bail.
I like my family doctor. He, like many health care professionals, has limited time for chit chat, but when he does speak, he's quite witty. So today, as I hopped up on his trusty table and admitted my fear of needles, scalpels, blood, pain and doctors with the last name Arnold, he told me to suck it up and stop being a wimp. At this point - and for Sue's benefit - the doctor shall be renamed, Mario.
Mario tackled the front goida first, distracting me with some skin numbing ointment and a splash of peroxide (and presto, I became a blonde) before inserting the needle into my skull. Painful, yes, but not as excruciating as I expected. I closed my eyes and tried to go to my happy place, but all I could picture was my Mom's description: blood streaming down her head and in front of her face. Five giant needles inserted into her scalp...
Me? One needle. No problem, right?
Wrong. I could hear the blade scratching into my head, and then the pop as Mario squeezed, like a giant zit, out a long wormish tendril of puss and blood. And then I felt the pressure of his hands pressing onto the open wound and tugging at the fat pocket attached to....brain? Skull fragments? Flesh? (Help me out here, Jan.) A gush of blood - though way less than I imagined, followed up with a triumphant, "There it is!"
Mario marveled at the thing he'd extracted from my head, but would not let me see it. Yet. First, he wanted to tackle the second goida, the monster of all head growths!
Again, one needle. But unlike the first time, the numbness didn't quite take and I not only HEARD the first slice, I felt it. I squirmed under his firm grip and inhaled, then exhaled, and sucked in gulps of air. Blood oozed down the side of my scalp and tangled my hair.
Mario jabbed at the fat sac, poking and prodding. But this goida wasn't done partying on my head, and the stubborn guest tried to overstay his welcome. Sensing Mario's frustration, I tried humour to lighten the mood, and cried to attempt to sway his compassion. But Mario remained focussed on his task of torture.
When he finally released the stubborn fat pocket, he placed them in jars and presented them to me with a sly smile. Two pea-shaped ghost-white balls, one with a lingering piece of pink flesh. They looked, truthfully, like pieces of beef fat.
A quick look, then several stitches and a couple of of pain pills later, I'm shoed out the door.
And now, my head feels somewhat distended from my body, floating in the atmosphere.
But the goidas are gone, and as my Mom says I'm going to love my new head.
Epilogue: Enraged with the amount of bloodshed spilled on Mario's table, Jeff marched into the doctor's office and bludgeoned him with a stethoscope of unusual size...
Ahem. You can figure out what's fact and fiction :-)
The Book In My Bag Today: The Paris Vendetta, Steve Berry