by Stephanie K. Cohen
The Atlantic magazine, September 2016, describes the forthcoming head transplant operation which will take place shortly.
The only problem I have is choices. So many, and so little time to decide. I thought about getting a placeholder, so to speak. Any healthy body in exchange for my ailing, aging one while I decide on the final choice.
First of all, I need a severe, and I mean severe, face lift. I would look pretty funny with my aging face and a nice healthy young body. And while they’re at it, I never liked my nose with its bump, and a little jaw enrichment wouldn’t hurt either (in 1908 a surgeon transplanted a second head on a dog. That head was able to lap water).
I even thought about becoming a child again so I would make better choices, study more, and pick parents very carefully. But in the end I didn’t think I could respond like a child. So that’s out (two Chinese graduate students transposed heads on a black mouse and a white mouse. The one they used special glue and sutures on was fine and the one they merely sewed the head on dragged its legs).
I have to be at least an old teenager, or a person in their early twenties, young enough to start over again. Do I really want menstrual periods again? Maybe a well-built young man, but that started me thinking about hormones and the facial hair and a coarsening of features. Zap that (surgeons have operated on Rhesus monkeys without bothering with their movement. One of the monkeys tried to bite the surgeon. I personally think it was mean of the surgeon not to try to give the monkeys movement).
Please don’t laugh, but I’ve been thinking about a wild Arabian horse, a young one of course, since their life span is so short. What fun to run wild and free, and to the astonishment of the world, I talk, and have the face of a young beauty (the operation will cost between ten million and one hundred million dollars, depending on where it’s done). When it comes right down to it, I don’t want to settle for such a short life span.
So now, how do I buy a body? It needs to be fresh so that the nerves and veins and spine can all be reattached (the operation must last no longer than one hour). Do I order someone murdered? Do I address a poor woman with countless children and offer her enough so that the rest of them can have a different life? And does she pick a healthy one out for me, or try to pawn off the runt of the litter?
I have to find a surgeon who is sympathetic to an old woman who is not in the mood to die. It could be a nice business, which I would go partners with. My friends, the rich ones, would line up, waiting to be “reborn” (it will take a team of at least seventy surgeons to perform the operation). The surgeon who goes into business with me will field the team of surgeons and scouts looking for nice fresh bodies with only head wounds.
It will be a few months before the old head teaches the new body who’s boss, learns mobility, and fine-tunes the muscles and nerves. This will necessitate a special rehab facility.
Here, I need to interrupt for personal reasons. I don’t see well, and my hearing is slightly impaired. While the plastic surgeon is giving me a new face, I want an ocular surgeon to repair my hearing and an ophthalmological surgeon to give me new eyes (my eyes are green, so he better be on the lookout for a green-eyed corpse with good eyes).
I have started looking around, talking around, to see who is interested when I refer to the transplant article. It’s amazing to me that so few people know about it. So far, I have recruited four people, whose names are a closely guarded secret, but they are leaders in their fields, and are laying the groundwork, doing the hunting for the team.
Meanwhile, I am taking very good care of myself, resting, exercising, and eating well. I am getting vitaminized and hormonized to keep myself alive.
Aren’t you going to wish me well?
Category: Fiction, Short Story, SNHU Creative Writing, SNHU online creative writing