There is a bruise on my right arm. It is a black, brown, purple oval, yellowing along the edge, about an inch and a half long, half an inch wide, in the inner part of the arm just below where the elbow bends.
I saw it the other morning in the shower as I was washing myself of what does not belong, what is not a part of my body. There it was, a smudge of something that did not belong but would not wash off.
It is there where the doctor had inserted the needle. After the greeting, after the droopy eyes to express her sympathy, after the warm touch of her hand, after the tears. After we made some jokes because that is all we had, likening it to two glasses of martini. After the injection, she had me lie on the table, feet in the stirrups, bottom all the way down to the edge. As my head dropped, I felt the drug ride through me, soothing and numbing, and I gave in without resistance.
And I lay there, staring at the ceiling where little cut out women dangled in the air, pretending I was drunk on fancy martinis without olives, as the noise of the suction whirled around in my ears. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw the nurse dangle some tissue, bloody and wet and glistening under the florescent light, before dropping it in a test tube, and I tightened my grip on Jeff's hand.
Later, I staggered out of that room, not only drunk on the injection but weighted down by the pain of the cramps, even though I was leaving lighter than when I had entered. We went home where I lay in bed, clutching my stomach, smelling my own smell from the night before.
Today, I find myself looking at my bruise, touching it. It provides a strange comfort. It is the only thing that remains after the process of removal.