Following a lifetime of sitting, a painful pressure pimple erupted on my buttocks. The Doctor’s prescription was an equal lifetime of standing. But I wasn’t—and now, more than ever, I’m not—the active sort, so I remained seated.
Soon my pimple was a rash—spreading, infecting…
“Operation!” cried the Surgeon, sharpening her instruments with the speed of one enthused by her vocation, then cutting out infected parts. Starting with my heart and moving on to my genitals, which I’d never found a function for, so it makes no sense to miss them. When that proved inadequate to cure, she kept cutting; then rearranged what remained into an unconventional conglomeration, but a living one at least.
How to spend a lengthened life? Ideally, on your buttocks. Provided you still have them. Provided that, in time, deaf to your protest, the Surgeon is not compelled to remove your rash’s root.
“Months, at most,” was the Doctor’s prognosis, after telling me the Surgeon’s treatment hadn’t worked. But, frankly, without my treasured twosome, I had little use for years.
Before death made its claim, I set some things in order. My will left the lot—an unused tube of toothpaste, the gum scraped from the soles of my borrowed shoes, the rusty nail I used to scrape them with—to Pressure Pimple Research, my charity of choice. And though I knew that none would mourn me, I composed an epitaph, lamenting how the loss of me would leave the world a poorer place.
Then, with the coins salvaged from the clefts of someone else’s sofa, I purchased a posterior, resolved to live out my remaining days doing what I’d always done.
And—owing to what, a misdiagnosis?—I’m still doing it.
I’ve considered suing the Doctor and his accomplice, the Surgeon; I could really use the money. But the effort required is too much. And the odds of me—barely more than a sentient pile of loose eyeballs, leftover bones and dusty shit, cradled in a pair of cheap prosthetic buttocks—winning a lawsuit are slim at best.
Besides, I’m alive, and there are worse things to be.
Using his fingers as toes, S.D. Foster roams the hills of Dorset, England, for no apparent reason. Using his toes as fingers, he types. His first book, “A Hollow Cube is a Lonely Space” (Eraserhead Press, 2011), is a collection of fantastic fables featuring cartoonish characters and anthropomorphized fruit. Influences include absurdist prose-poet Russell Edson; the exceedingly silly Soviet, Daniil Kharms; Lewis Carroll; pulp horror; existentialism; Edward Gorey; b-movie auteurs Larry Cohen, John Waters and Frank Henenlotter; and, of course, Aesop.