>A Lesion of the Liver

>Yesterday, while doing a sonogram to get to the bottom of my sudden abdominal pain, they discovered a lesion on my liver.
“Just one?”
“Well, it could be several. It’s hard to tell on the sono. I’d like to schedule an MRI for tomorrow.”
“How about today?”
“It’s not an emergency, because the blood tests show only a minor elevation in liver enzymes, but if you want it—”
“—I want it.”

I went into the backyard to pick weeds. It had rained a few days earlier, so they came out easily. Rip. I love the feeling of pulling something out by its roots. Finding the sturdiest point on the stem, wrapping my fist around it, the slight give, and the sensation of each unique root. Some roots are one long tap root – you can feel those slide out a long length of earth. It feels like you are cleansing the soil of a long-seeded ill. Others are shallow, hairy root clusters. You tear them out like hair from a scalp. Or like pulling the tab up on a cold, really gassy soda can. Rrrrrip. Ahhhh.

Sometimes, the root is too strong, the ground around it dry and tense. This happens with the bigger stalks, the ones with thorny leaves and a pretty yellow dandelion growing up top. The stalk tears and the plant’s juices splatter my hand and mix with the dirt and seep into the invisible cuts on my knuckles and stings. Take that, bitch. This really pisses me off, so I toss the plant and dig my fingers into the ground, working my fingers around the first few roots I come to and tug. It’s not a satisfying rip, but at least it’s gone. The fucker.

I don’t miss my mom very often anymore. It’s been five years. I miss her when I need a recipe, or to know who sang “Free Ride.” Now there’s the Internet for those things. But I missed her like hell then. Pulling those weeds, a lesion on my liver, probably nothing, but I wanted to tell her most of all. My fiancé is appropriately worried. I tell him not to be, that liver lesions are common and usually benign. Still, he holds me a little tighter and gets quiet more frequently. I told my dad, after he stopped filling me in on his work day, and afterwards, he regaled me with his medical history. This is not to say he doesn’t care—this is just how he cares. He relates. I told my brother. Then we both changed the subject.

Still, after telling the three people who love me most in this world, I kept wanting to call one more. I posted it on Facebook. I told my coworkers. I responded to worried questions and well wishes. And still, I wanted to tell one more. One more person. One more who would care as much as I did that there was something potentially dangerous in my body—one who would be devastated if I died.

Not that I thought I would. It’s just that we get only so many people like that, and I want my one more back.

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