He Was an Ass, Man

by Kyle SUNDBY

The toilet flushes and the bathroom light turns off. The woman makes her way back to the bed, where she lays down, face in her pillow. Even if she were going to work today, Kristen would have at least an hour before she needed to get up. But she can’t sleep.

Tits, cans, jugs, rack, Kristen thinks. That’s what they’ll be called after today. To replace boobies, mosquito bites, nubbins, chest. They could still be called breasts—a catch-all. From baby birds’ breasts to the nurturing breasts of a voluptuous Mother Earth.

Surgery isn’t until afternoon. By one o’clock her boyfriend will come by to pick her up. He’ll be quiet during the drive to the hospital, careful not to spoil the deal. Before the sunrise creeps into her room, she falls back to sleep.

When she came to, her parents and her boyfriend were waiting to see her. They had previously made it clear that they were going to support her decision, either way. They were cautious when she was unsure, and there for her when she decided to go for it. They talked to her in whispers and hugs.

After he stopped coming by and no longer returned her calls, Kristen looked to her parents for cheer. “What happened between you two?” and “Do you think he’ll come back?” they asked. What did I do wrong, she thought. And what can I do?

The soreness is gone and the scars are hardly visible. The toilet flushes and the bathroom light turns off. Kristen lays back down, stares up at the ceiling. She has at least an hour before she has to get up for work. Before the sunrise bursts into her room, she falls back to sleep.

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