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I'll Always Have Paris

Lying on a gurney, scared, but putting on a brave face. Moments from now, I am putting my life in a surgeon's hands. Did he have a good night? Did he fight with his wife, or, hopefully, have mind-blowing sex, so the good memories and karma will carry over to his hands and his brain while he takes my spine apart?

The nurses are comforting, and the meds are kicking in, so I'm relaxing a bit, but I've yet to meet the person who I rely on above all - the anesthesiologist. This man will determine whether I sleep through the cutting, the drilling, the insertion of screws - all the things that make me feel like I'm going to be in a mad-man's workroom.

When the anesthesiologist shows up, he's not typical of the ones I have had before. This man asks me where I want to be, to think of a place that makes me feel happy. I guess he accomplishes his purpose with this question because he gets me talking and thinking, not about surgery, but about happy places and spaces that I've been in my life.

My mind immediately goes to Paris. It sound cliché, but it was as beautiful as I knew it would be during all the endless French classes. I saw myself riding a bike through the old neighborhoods, walking along the Seine, admiring the art in the Louvre. It's my last thought... truly. I didn't make it through the surgery, but I'll always have Paris.

Story by:

Jill Case

6 December 2013