Looking for Something

      Something's in here somewhere. It's got to be it has to be. Oh whither oh whither oh where oh whither oh what.
      If I open up and look maybe I will find it. If I open me up and find it maybe I'll get rid of it.

      It is a thing inside or is it only just the way, the only one we've feared and known and not wanted to know, out? Is it that? Is it only that?

      For the outer layer a knife will do, a kitchen knife, a cut 'n' paste scissors, a number of things we have at home, but then it, that is I, would need a saw or something. The cutting part will sting and hurt and so on but then hopefully the sawing part will right off the bat get the part that hurts, that knows how to hurt and sends the signals and so on will get got and I won't feel anything.
      But I will probably hear things: the whirr of the saw or the scratch of the blade, the spinning the crunching or buzzing that sounds like a saw in a log, a saw in a rock—no, not a rock—more like a shell, a shiny skinny stupid brittle pearl like appearance, but not like a pearl in beauty—there is no beauty here—but rather as a kind of quivering gelatinous opalescence, a timorous sheen. It looks like it's asking for it. As if in some pathetic jelly-ish way some thing is saying 'please.'
       But I won't hear this very long I hope. For I hope that they—who? Him? There has to be someone responsible for this mess. I couldn't have dreamt this up myself, could I? And if so, why, Sweet Jesus, why? There must be Someone else. Some nasty fucker else. I hope He can, for He must be merciful, even the slimiest worst of us is merciful sometimes, could, and would, out of a kindness, cut my hearing part out right off the bat, or second off the bat, after the physical feeling part because the physical feeling part really would be worse than the sound.
      But I don't know that actually. Because I think I heard or read somewhere that the brain isn't like other things. It doesn't feel physically things the way the rest of one does. For example, when you have a headache or whatever that's about pressure on the sinuses or the skull whereas the actual brain itself, the tissue, the meat, if you will, doesn't feel stuff at least not physically. It's something about the kinds of nerves that are in there. Therefore cutting into it would be like cutting into something that was not one but was something else—one would not feel it.
      I would not feel it I tell myself.
      But knowing me I would.

      The part that needs to be cut is not the part that hears and these days they can be very precise, what with all this new technology, veritable miracles they say! cutting only the parts that need it at least I hope. So maybe I would hear it, the whir like a dentist drill the buzz like a saw like a plane starting up like a lawn mower like a car that won't turn over and they keep pushing on the gas until it just dies. I will ask Him for an anesthetic, a complete, general, knock me into next year anesthetic and if He tells me there are risks, that I might not wake from that, I will say, Fine by me and thank you very much.
      He'll have to shave my head first but I don't mind. In fact I think that looking like a monk might be nice and also maybe if I looked like a holy person I would feel peaceful, calm and all that.

      There's got to be something that's doing whatever is done.

      Is it bigger than a bread box?
      Is it bigger than a refrigerator?
      Is it bigger than a planet my head my heart?
      Is it bigger than a rodent?
      Is it smaller than a rodent?
      Is it the same size as a rodent?
      Is it a rodent?

      That would take up a lot of room. Even a very small one. A mouse or gerbil or rat or hamster, even a tiny one would not have very much room to run. It must have some set-up like those circle things they run around on. Where does it sleep? I know it sleeps sometimes. (I love it when that happens). Maybe it just sleeps in the bottom of the inside of that circle, curled up like a moon, its little pink feet with its tiny rodent fingers slightly curled, its tiny eyes closed, its tail wrapped. It tries to get out sometimes. I hate it when it does that but I also feel sorry for it. Living in such a tiny place, all cramped and all alone with nothing to do but run on that circle and sleep and eat. I know what it eats.

      Someone needs to go in and get it out
      if I have to go in myself

      Hand me the scalpel, hand me the knife
      Hand me the needle, the drill

      Oh damnit, just give me a rope.

Rebecca Brown's eleventh book, The Last Time I Saw You, was published by City Lights in 2006. Brown is also the author of Woman in Ill-Fitting Wig, a collaboration with painter Nancy Kiefer available at Brown’s memoir, Excerpts from a Family Medical Dictionary, was published by Granta Books, (UK), University of Wisconsin Press (USA), and Asahi Shimbun, Japan. Among her other books are the memoir-in-essays, The End of Youth and the fictions, The Dogs: A Modern Bestiary, Annie Oakley's Girl, and The Terrible Girls all with City Lights, and The Gifts of the Body, (HarperCollins).