Friday, September 30, 2011

still in love

Friday afternoon means catching my breath before diving into the weekend's worth of work. It turns out to be a problem that I'm so bad at doing things half-way--but not a big problem.

I am slowly conquering grammar.

There are moments when I think--this is going to be ok. I can do this. Not just this, now, but this, life. We are diagramming sentences in Greek, just like when I was learning to teach English, and I remember how much I love that. A little thrill goes through me; I could actually use my CELTA when I get out of here. I'll have a bachelor's degree. I can go to China. I can have a life.

This week has been hard. You can't leave the past behind you. Yesterday we opened a cow heart, slitting the vena cava to lay it flat, cutting through the rubbery lips of the right atrium and and into the rich dark muscle of the ventricle. It is easier than I thought, up the other side and down the septum, my scalpel forcing away a perfect cross section, just like the model but so much more real, bloodier and less color coded. I have declined gloves so that I can feel the differences between flesh and vein and fat; when I lift it up the blood goes to my elbows, the meat is thick and dripping, and the veins that hang off the top are bloodstained pink. When I close my eyes to sleep, the heart is in my chest but my hands are still trying to rip it open.

So I go downstairs; my friends are talking about seminar. Georgias: better than Meno, we think? The security of military bases in Israel? What goats won't eat? How to get your taxes done? Correlations between dance ability and sexual performance? The big project Y did to clarify the logic Socrates uses about rhetoric and justice? This is a strange place full of strange people, and most of us didn't belong anywhere else. It is good to come home.

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