“We’re going to have to remove your left ovary.” The doctor had both hands around his clip board. “Sydney?”
There was no change in Sydney’s expression. She sat there on the exam table in her crumpled paper robe just staring past the doctor at the sink behind him. The erect metal faucet jutting out over the sterile metal sink. Drip. Drip.
“Huh? Yea, my left ovary. Needs to be cut off. Got it.”
“It seems the cysts have rapidly multiplied and there are just too many to save it.”
“Is it still possible to have kids?” Her focus went back to the dripping faucet behind him. Drip. Drip.
“Well, yes. You will still have the right one, so as long as it functions correctly, you will still ovulate.”
“But while you’re in there, couldn’t you just remove them both?”
Then she can just tell her mother and all her girlfriends, who are already mothers, that she is no longer able to have children, and not because she’s afraid to, that she’s not woman enough, that she doesn’t feel entitled to give birth, that it’s not a privilege, that life can still feel complete without having to expel a miniature human from her abnormally small vagina, but simply because she can’t. It would just make her life easier.
* * *
“Now that’s just the most awful thing I’ve ever heard coming from your mouth Sydney.” Mother rests her rubber gloved wrists over the kitchen sink. Her mouth parts as if she has more words left to say, but nothing comes out. She stands there expecting an apology but Sydney only offers a tight stretched smile. Sweet fermented grape lingers on her tongue and her wine glass swirls in her hand.
“I’m serious mother. They’re useless to me. Will only bring more heartache and pain if I hear that they’ve attacked my last good ovary.” Sydney dramatically places the back of her hand to her forehead.
“You have to experience life through a child’s eyes again. Then you will know.”
“Why because my first childhood wasn’t hard enough?” Mother glowers at her.
“Women are supposed to make babies Sydney. That’s what we are made to do. Why would God give us an oven if He didn’t want us to cook?” The faucet was gushing with hot water, steam rising from the sink. It was the day of Christmas Eve and they had just finished stuffing the whole turkey. It was a tradition to do turkey for Christmas and chicken for Thanksgiving. Since there was already enough turkey for November, Sydney’s mother thought it clever to break tradition.
“Oh my god mother, can you either turn off the damn faucet or talk while you do dishes please?”
Mother picks up a plate. “You know, you will never know a mother’s love if you don’t have a child of your own. And you will never understand what I went through for you and your sister.”
“Mother, we don’t have time for this.” Sydney walks out of the kitchen just before grabbing the open wine bottle. She is more infuriated from the water running than her mother speaking. She walks onto the porch in time to see her cousin Ruth and her picture perfect family spilling out of their mini van. She quickly back tracks into the house leaving the door open and runs toward the stairs up to her old childhood bedroom. She leaves the glass on the hallway table, the bottle disappears with her.
* * *
Sydney jumped off the bench, the crinkled paper robe stuck to her ass, and reached past the doctor to turn off the dripping faucet. “Sorry. It’s my OCD. Got a cure for that?” She hopped back onto the plastic bench. “I mean, why do people not care about the shortage of our water supply?” Drip. Drip. “Ugh! And why can’t people pick up after themselves and stop littering on their own streets? And it’s not hard to recycle! Really. It doesn’t hurt much to switch to paper bags! You can use paper bags for trash bags too. It’ll work fine. I promise.” Drip. Drip. Drip. “I’m sorry. I don’t want kids. Actually, I’m not sorry. Let me explain, I don’t want my own kids. I happen to think wanting to procreate while there are thousands of orphans just dying for a family to be far more selfish!” Drip. Drip. “Why add to the exasperated population when we can just save and recycle!” Sydney looks up at the doctor who blinks silently. “Sorry, just letting out some steam.”
“So, I’m guessing you made up your mind then. We can talk about those options. Actually, I can recommend someone for you to further discuss these issues… if you’d like.”
“Doctor? Do I have cancer?”
“Sydney, we are taking these next few steps to insure you won’t get cancer.”
“Ok. Let’s do it.”