top of page


(by Bex O'Brian)

My first operating room, to go along with my first operation. I was fascinated. There was the tray with an electric saw, what looked like a crowbar, and the more delicate tools: scalpels, scissors, and retractors, all shiny and gleaming under the bright round lights. A masked man sat ready to monitor my vitals. Machines beeped; nurses looked busy and concentrated. The walls of the room were green tile. I sat on the operating table, my legs dangling, my soon-to-be-gone hip giving me no trouble at all after years of demanding constant attention. One lovely nurse asked what my favorite music was. I generously said, “Let’s listen to the doc’s fav.”

I wasn’t thinking of my mother then.

A second later, I wasn’t thinking of anything at all.