Summer turned into fall. Lines of communication between doctors and patients were now open. Lucas Bonner and Bruce Nolans were not heard from, but Clare, Lena, Breann and I talked every day. We made plans to meet in New York next week, the first of November. I was still ambivalent about having the surgery. Lucas words haunted me. I didn’t want to imagine myself as emotionally detached for several more decades.
Lena and Clare were looking forward to improving their health conditions. Breann was just looking for the experience. I was starting to see Lucas’ point about her. She had a hell of a story to write, if that was her intention.
I avoided Ava. She was insistent I come in for a checkup, but I was finally getting peace at home.
My wife and I barely spoke of surgery and it’s ramifications. Everything I had to say about it, I talked with Breann.
“Caleb, I hear what you’re saying. You met Lucas, I didn’t. He seemed a different species to you and that is creepy. But, he told you you needed to be there for your family. I don’t see you losing what you like about yourself unless you elect to lose it. I’m sick of migraines and chest pains and shortness of breath and being sick all the time. Doc Wicks told me that there are levels of robotics. Maybe Lucas got the Lamborghini version of this surgery. You and I can get the Bitchin’ Camaro one and still be smart asses who like punk rock.”
I laughed and we talked some more before I hung up the phone exhausted. The magnet in my shoulder moved around a lot. When it did, pain would fill my shoulder and chest and I would become tired.
I walked slowly upstairs to the kids’ rooms to kiss everyone good night. Eminem music came from my teenage daughter’s room.
“You still dreaming about becoming a white, female, suburban rapper”
Juliet ignored me and started another conversation.
“So, yeah, well, mom and I are going with you to Los Angeles in January for my 16th birthday when you get your operation.”
I shook my head at her focus.
“sweetheart, I’m not sure I’m going to do that.”
She frowned, bit her lip and spoke.
“You remember a few months ago when you and mom thought I was gay, but I wasn’t, even though it would be cool?”
I shook my head yes and hoped her next set of words would be more comfortable.
“Well, you told me that as long as I was healthy and happy you didn’t care about anything else. I feel the same about you.”
I smiled, walked over and hugged her tight.
“Also, I saw a picture of your ex-girlfriend doctor. She’s pretty but she looks stabby. So, yeah, be careful.”
I laughed, walked away, Eminem started playing again.