Story Go Round 10/21/2006, round 3, #1

Nasally Yours

(post-titled by Alan)

The noise was uncomfortably loud. Sharena covered her ears and asked for them to turn it down. But they couldn’t. Then she closed her eyes and the noise stopped. Her hands sunk to her lap, where they fidgeted fulsomely of their own accord. “That was the ‘Sounds of Nature’,” a nasally teenager said, tossing her the disc, “with Yo-Yo Ma.”

“You sure it wasn’t Yo-Yo Pa?” she retorted.

“Gee, I dunno, let me check,” the nasal one responded in earnest, but Sharena snatched the disk out of reach. “I think he is the only one who can put sound to the black dark blackness that I feel in my heart. It’s just that no-one knows how I…”

“It’s fine, I’ll take it,” she interrupted quickly—anything to get out of this nauseating teenager’s presence.

“Yo-Yo only does the sounds of the cheetahs,” he said, trailing her to the door. “The Boston Symphony does all the sounds of the whales—“

“Look,” she interrupted again, “I only showed you my spleen because you’re in health class. It wasn’t a profession of anything, especially not of solidarity, friendship, or even tolerance.” Sharena felt little twinges from what used to be her conscience, before it had to come out, and sit in a jar next to her old appendix.

“You have the most gorgeous spleen,” the teen enthused rapidly, impervious to Sharena’s overtones. “And it’s just that, that…I never met anyone who shared my interest in scars before,” he finished quietly, eyes downward, but burning an intent look at the ground. “I saw your notebook in health class… and, well, I was wondering if I could do some sketches.” A nervous giggle escaped him. “Your substance abuse has left some wonderful spots.”

“I’ll make you a deal,” she replied. “If I let you see my ulna, will you leave me alone for a week?”

“Gee,” he said, shifting uncomfortably, “I dunno. I mean, what about twenty-four hours?” When Sharena didn’t answer right away, he added, “And I’ll throw in some Mannheim Steamroller,” in his most nasal tone yet.

Flouncing two feet past him, Sharena was about to leave when he thrust a sketch of her uvula in her face. It was an exact likeness, with warmth and wet detail. She could make out the scars from each of the three operations individually. It was…beautiful. “I also moonlight at St. No-Hope’s hospital,” he wheedled. “I could slip you into the morgue once the janitors leave. It has a wonderful view of the Emergency room loading zone.”

For the first time, she didn’t know what to say. A silent moment passed between them, and he, at least, didn’t seem to mind.

“Next stop, Fifth and Main, Fifth and Main, next stop,” came the announcement overhead. That was only three blocks from the hospital! Looking at Sharena nasally, the teen raised an eyebrow.

It reminded her so much of her favorite duodenum, that she leapt up and followed him out. Enya played somewhere, and no-one noticed.

Hospital security proved no problem. “Nasolio” (as she had taken to calling him in her mind (when no-one else was around)) had risen in her estimation, and now garnered one more notch. Down in the morgue, surrounded by all the “cupboards” as he called them, they compared melanomas, and joked about their mutual experiences of ostracism. She had never felt so attracted, bats fluttered in her belly.

“Medula oblongata,” Sharena whispered, and their eyes met.

“How did you know?” he whispered back. “I never told anyone except the cadavers and the dissected parts.”

“I know,” she whispered, even softer. “I used to be one.”

“That was you!” he gushed, nasally. His nose dripped gently onto his upper lip and they kissed, just as gently as the flourescent lighting flickered out.