ONE EAR OR ONE TESTICLE

The nurse insists that we keep the windows open. This place is a mixture of smells; bananas, dried blood, rotten and rotting human flesh and various body smells, smells from men who barely shower in health; we can’t expect them to shower in sickness that would be unreasonable. I have no problem with the windows being kept open, but I just want to close the one next to my bed because I feel so cold, it is like I got an infusion of ice into my veins.
The young man sleeping on the bed to my right has one testicle; I know that because I heard the nurse telling her colleague that; unfortunately it couldn’t be saved. I was not eavesdropping, she (the nurse) can’t talk in a low tone, and she doesn’t even know that confidentiality is an English word. But this is a county hospital, and county workers, especially medics and paramedics care not. I pity him, he says he was told it rotated (so they can rotate), then it died. The doctors would have saved had the operation happened earlier, but it didn’t happen there were more serious cases needing the theatre, his testicle wasn’t an emergency! I can imagine his how his love life will be like; I can imagine the surprise in his girls’ faces, and I know the question; what the hell? Will always be asked during love making. Maybe he will tell them what happened, maybe he will not. Maybe the girls will stay but mostly they will leave, I wish him luck.
I wonder if it is better to be him or to be me. I have been here for almost forty eight hours. Nothing has passed down my throat for that long, it is dry it feels like it is cracking. I can’t swallow anything, not even my own saliva. Blood has been trickling from my nose, I am afraid it is all going to pour out. The bandage around my head is soaked red. The nurse or doctor or whoever that guy is tells me they can’t see me, because I have an ear and nose problem; those are seen by an ENT specialist, not a general surgeon. Then why the hell did they send me to this ward? I wonder I really wonder, but this questions, you never ask them loudly, because, you are a patient and patients should act like patients; bleed for two days, sleep on their beds, ask no question and wait for the ENT surgeon. You might die, but if you live, you might testify about patience and being a patient.
The guy sleeping to my left is old; he is probably my father’s age-mate. He screams in bouts. He has a tube hanging from his rod; the tube is connected to a colorless plastic bag that contains a bloody liquid; his urine. He has been screaming and doing gymnastics on his bed. He says he can’t poop. I can’t understand why his urine is bloody though while his problem is not being able to poop. 
Almost twenty hours of patience, then the guy, eventually comes; the ENT surgeon. The hefty sister slash nurse calls me into the procedure room; a small room separated by blood stained curtains from the rest of the ward. They sit me on a bed. He unwraps the bandage from around my head and my ear dangles on the side of my head. I can see it from the angle of my left eye.  He takes a look at it and shakes his head. He unwraps a tray placed on a table beside the bed to reveal gloves, and metals; scissors, blades and more scissors and other thinks I don’t know. Sigh. He is short, and dark; not the type ladies would want to father their sons except that he has money, and where there is money…… He puts on his gloves, draws the curtains to screen the area well enough, then takes the scissors. I close my eyes, and open them at the words of the nurse. Give him his ear. The guy hands me a piece of my ear on a metallic bowl, then starts removes the gloves and starts applying a bandage onto my head. I am startled, but you haven’t stitched? I ask. Silence, the bandage rotates once on my head, then twice, then; that ear has already died, it will rot and fall off even if we stitch it back. But I came to hospital three hours after I was assaulted, it took him two days to come, and now he says it took too long.
I want to shout at him, to tell him what I exactly think, but I haven’t eaten a thing in two days, I might collapse while talking. I walk back to my bed, as slowly as my weak legs are able, leaving my ear in the container. They can feed it to the dogs if they wish, or let the flies devour it or bury it and let ants build a small anthill on it; whatever they decide, I care less.  I look into the future and shudder, I imagine a life with one ear, I think of my mother and my grandmother, then suddenly I want to be that guy with only one testicle, that guy, because no one will ever know that he only has one, but me; I will probably get a new name; masikio moja. I might not even get a girl, I am not normal anymore, people like normal. Nobody would want a man with one ear as a husband, and it is not their fault. I think briefly about the government, then about the doctors and nurses. I wonder if they ever get sick, if they ever lie on those beds that we, the patients lie on. How they feel when nurses shout at them, when they spend two days waiting for a doctor who doesn’t even make things better when he eventually shows up. I wonder where they learn to behave so casually with life, where they muster their art of shouting, how long it takes for them to develop those stone hearts.

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kay
Guest
kay

nyc one.cant shower in health,what about in sickness.

saringin
Guest

hehe

andanje
Guest

the sight of blood has always scared me, now I realize even reading about blood scares me lol.
This is a nice read, there was the plight of doctors and social acceptance and a lot of other themes that I like.
Then the english was simple and it flowed.
Fantastic!!!!

saringin
Guest

Thanks Ajay..thanks for reading

Ronedion
Guest

As always, well written, flowing and thematic, a reflection of what happens in the society.

Btw I hope you will give it a try to the Commonwealth short story competition.

saringin
Guest

hahahaaaaaa.noooo this one doesnt even meet the standards yawa

molyna Molly
Guest
molyna Molly

Sob Sob exactly what happens. Nice read

saringin
Guest

thanks

Amphrey Magori
Guest
Amphrey Magori

Nice. …Dr.

saringin
Guest

thanks Amfree

Babjy
Guest

Eh yawa!! But not showering is not such a sin… Nyc one. Fantabulous….

saringin
Guest

ati nini Babji

Were wa'Shitseswa
Guest

Very few pieces take my deep feelings. Like this one.

saringin
Guest

Thanks Were……

saringin
Guest

thanks Amfree

Moraa Rioba
Guest

They rotate? is that scientifically correct?

saringin
Guest

true Moraa it is called torsion

judemutuma
Guest

This is quite good, Doreen. You have a way of describing scenarios that definitely leaves an impact on the one reading

saringin
Guest

thanks thanks for reading and for the complement

ELVIN
Guest
ELVIN

true picture of our government hospitals.i wish some day things will be better.

waswa
Guest
waswa

Woooiii …. so balls can rotate and die … I feel sorry for the young man. Anyway thanks for the humour Daktari …. haha