Bigger. Stronger. Faster. Pussycat.

Imagine you have a house. A normal ol' run-of-the-mill, not too big, white picket fence, American dream on a budget house. Inside that house is a load-bearing wall, a support beam that holds everything up that should be up, so that everything to the side can stay aside. This is a very important wall, we all know. Now imagine that in a very short course of time you put another house on top of your house, one that weighed the same as the original house, plus five pounds. Imagine you didn't add another load bearing wall.

Picture in your mind what that wall would start to do.

Now imagine that you rammed a Mac truck into that wall.

And then did it again, 23 months later to the day. And then once more 7 1/2 years later, for good measure.

Before the roof fell in and everything that was supposed to be up french kissed the basement, the walls would probably start to crumble. That fauz southwestern stucco facade you spent weeks carefully applying with sponges and brooms and 170 grit sandpaper and a shaman's blessing would have all but disintegrated before your eyes. The pipes in the wall might start to bend and twist and wrap around other pipes, ones the don't have any business touching. The wires might start to cross. Mere anarchy might just be loosed upon a world you couldn't even see, because it was all neatly hidden under a picture of your great grandmother Pearl.

But someday, you're going to want to hang a new picture. And then, friends, kaboom.

And that's exactly what happened to my chocha.

Anyone who follows me on Twitter with any amount of vigor will recall a conversation on April 23rd between myself and my two favorite dotcomrades, Two Busy and Adam P Knave, wherein we took it upon ourselves to scientifically analyze the feasibility and the moral, religion and socio-economical impact of turning my vagina into a potato radio. We're pretty sure that with the right mixture of Masingil, hardwiring and old fashioned elbow grease, it could be done. We're also pretty sure that Jesus hates it when you talk about making 7th grade science projects out of vaginas on Twitter, because as sure as the Pope wears a funny hat, here I sit 7 months later with a six million dollar vagina.

Sadly enough, I cannot get NPR on the damn thing. I blame the liberal elitist socialist agenda propaganda machine.

Your body has a wall, in between your evacuatory tract and your reproductive tract, and that wall helps you sneeze without peeing your pants and helps you poo out our booty and not your money-maker, and helps your internal organs stay way up where they belong, where the eagles fly on a mountain high. Your body does, mine didn't. Mine tore in half, all the way top to bottom clean in half, sometime between 1998 and now, no one's really sure which kid I get to saddle with the guilt of this for the rest of their life.

You will know this is happening to you when your OB asks you during a routine exam if you ever feel like things are falling, and you say yes, and then he asks you if he can stick his fingers up your bumm and poke around, and you say I'm going to owe you dinner after this, aren't I?* and then he looks up from between your legs and says, "Um, how old are you again?" and you say, "35?" and he says, "Huh, 'cause I can see Russia from your house."

When your OB can wave at himself through your vagina via your rectum, your house dun broke.

Needless to say, there was a good amount of reconstructive/plastic/biological transplanty surgery to be done in order to fix the Bubble Yum Wind Tunnel and its supporting cast. Everything from the public bone south had either torn completely in half (rectal-vaginal fascia), disintegrated (perineum, pelvic floor) dropped (uterus, bladder, Dow Jones Industrial Average) or had distended itself beyond function (labia, vaginal wall, rectal wall). All of that was repaired over the course of 5 hours, and they even took care of that whole pesky MY UTERUS IS ATTEMPTING TO KILL ME FROM THE INSIDE OUT thing I had going on, by yanking it out and suspending the tucked, tightened, pulled, yanked and shrunken vagina from the ligaments that once held Chez Mr Lady in place.

Post-op, my doctor told me "that whole thing (sweeping hand gesture around the source of my power and femininity)" was the single worst he'd ever seen on anyone, and he usually sees this only in women over 70. I told him he a way with women and it was amazing he was still single.

But then he told me that he'd given me the "hand-sweep again" I had when I was 16, and if I hadn't been completely annihilated on morphine I probably would have punched him in the throat because now I'm going to have to deal with a "hand-sweep" that is too emo to make any friends and can't even get a date to the prom and thinks that Extreme is, like, seriously, the GREATEST BAND ALIVE.

*True story. I am made of class.

Finding My Way To Mariana

Surfing is not a team sport. Sure, you can have surfing teams, but ultimately, surfing is the sport of you and nature, tangled up together, limbs intertwined, riding on top of and against and through each other. Out in the sea, encapsulated in the grandeur of tidal pulls and gravity and water and earth, your ears are full of the the whole of creation roaring at you, perched and ready to strike. You tether your sliver of control to your ankle and attempt to find your god in your absolute mortality. It's a solo endeavor, finding your rhythm in time with nature, learning that you'll only dominate once you surrender, realizing that your power is completely perceived and contingent on your willingness to let that same power completely go. You ride the wave, the wave rides you.

It was September 20th, mid afternoon, when they told me they were going to have to take my uterus.

Every morning since, I have woken up, waxed my board, strapped it to my foot and walked headfirst and alone into this swell. My team paddles alongside me, but inside the tube it is me and my mutilation, pitted singularly against each other, timing a collapse against an escape in defiance of gravity along-side sanity within the swell of the natural order of things.

I do not know how to navigate through this, and so I choose most days to ebb out with the water, thoughtlessly allowing me, myself and this to drift lazily out to sea. When I try to speak of this, the waves come crashing down around me faster than I can navigate through them. They constrict with each undulation until I am drunken and suffocating inside an impossible tunnel.

Everything holding the core of me in place disintegrated. I am no longer able to create life.

It is hard, surrendering to this. I don't want this, and I don't know how to talk about this. I know how to mock this, to be sure, but I don't know how to honestly say that I cannot handle what just happened to me any more than I knew how to say I couldn't handle what was about to happen to me. And so I don't talk about it, except in very specific terms.  I am healing fine and I can start washing dishes in a few days and driving in a few weeks and maybe by Christmas, I'll be able to give my husband a "present". I listen to the advice I am given and I accept all the support I am offered and I tuck all of that away in my pocket for the time I know that I'll be able to unwrap it and use it and I continue ramming my head into this thing alone, because I don't know how else to do it.

I keep riding this wave, it keeps riding me.

I dream of tiny fingers wrapped around thumbs, of suckling and sleeping, of the things I thought I decided years ago I didn't want anymore. I'm jolted awake in the mornings by the reality of stitching that spans the height and breadth and depth of everything I used to need to make that dream come true, everything that has been carefully reconstructed with biological mesh and re-purposed ligaments and tethered expanses of skin and muscle.

I am the accumulation of 35 years of surface friction, mounting itself over and over again until at last, the base could hold me no longer and it broke against itself.

This wave of mutilation is still roaring around me, blocking sun and sound and earth and heaven, and I am tethered to the sliver of control I've convinced myself I still have left. I am trying to let this go, to rest upon the foundation that was surgically implanted into my body ten days ago and stay ahead of the wave that wants to come crashing down on me. I am reconciling the singular mortality I was forced to face against the three embodiments of my immortality that greet me each morning, and I am riding the wave.

And it is riding me.