A Letter to My Surgically Removed Spleen, Seymour

July 12, 2010

Dear Seymour,

I named you Seymour, I hope you don’t mind.  My therapist says that names help build emotional connections, which will then make it easier for me to mourn your passing.  And she’s probably right because she has like a gazillion diplomas on the wall.  She’s a great gal, my therapist.  I think you’d really like her – you know, if you were still alive and all.  Her name is Dr. Jamie.  She’s one of those modern counselor types, who wants people to know that she’s a Harvard graduate (Summa Cum Laude, thank you very much!) but hopes they will also recognize that she’s a woman with emotional and physical needs just like everyone else.  That’s why she has her patients call her Dr. Jamie.  It’s not as clinical.  Anyway, that’s what she told me last week after we fucked.

Oh, yeah, I say ‘fuck’ now.  Dr. Jamie says that I’m verbally confined, a direct result of my Protestant upbringing, and I need to branch out with my fucking speech patterns.  I decided to start with ‘fuck’ because it’s such a versatile word, don’t you think?  It can be used as a transitive verb (John fucked Mary), or a passive conjugation (Mary was fucked by John).  It can be an active verb (John also fucks Mary’s mom), a passive verb (John has fucked Mary’s mom), or an adverb (Mary really fucking hates her mom).  It can be a noun (Mary’s mom is a terrific fuck), or an adjective (Mary’s mom is a terrific fucking whore).  It can even be used in greetings, such as, How the fuck are you? and Good to fucking see you.  You can also attach it to a variety of nouns to come up with infinite results.  (Watch that fuck-mouth, you fucking retarded piece of monkey fuck.)  Actually, there are so many situations where you can use the word ‘fuck’ that I hardly know how I ever got a-fucking-long without it.  Anyhow, after we made love, Dr. Jamie saw the scar on my belly and asked me about it, and that’s when I told her all about you, Seymour.

You see, our therapy sessions had begun to bog down a bit.  I started off like a rocket.  I mean, I got through my entire childhood in the first session.  Dr. Jamie said that she’d never seen anything like it in all her three years in the business.  It was just emotional breakthrough after emotional breakthrough.  I forgave my father and achieved closure with my mother in the first fifteen minutes.  It must have been some kind of world record.  Then I went on to recognize my inner child and came to terms with the crippling sense of guilt that came from being raised in a functional family.  After that, we had about twenty minutes to kill, and that’s when we christened Dr. Jamie’s leather therapy couch, so to speak.

Dr. Jamie says that I’m a therapeutic genius.  Not the actual analyzing-people’s-problems-and-helping-to-overcome-them part, of course, but on the receiving end, I’m like the Stephen Hawking of mental patients.  I’m a blank book.  Actually, that’s probably not the best analogy in the world since a blank book would have no information in it at all, huh?  I guess I’m probably more like a blank computer screen.  On the other hand, I guess that would mean that I’m like in a coma or something, unable to interact with the world until someone switches me on.  Okay, okay, I’ve got it.  You know how sometimes when you are at an internet café and you try to go into your Hotmail account but the last person who used that computer forgot to logout, so now you can look at all of their business and see everything about their personal life?  That’s me.  I’m like someone else’s Hotmail account.

But anyhow, I was so good at therapy that, after three sessions, Dr. Jamie couldn’t figure out what else to do with me.  That’s when she thought of this ‘fuck’ business – but I’m almost fucking finished with that already.  So we decided that the only obstacle left for me to overcome was a fear of death.

The problem is that I don’t really have a fear of death.  I mean, I have a fear of dying, I suppose – I don’t go around antagonizing hungry lions or sticking my hands in meat grinders or anything like that – but I can’t really say that I have a good healthy fear of the death process.  To be honest, I actually enjoy funerals.  It’s dark, you get to wear black and cry in front of strangers.  What’s not to like?  Dr. Jamie says that this is because I’ve never really had anyone close to me die.  It’s true, I’m sorry to say.  There have been some family pets that have kicked the bucket over the years and there was that one episode of Growing Pains when Carol’s fiancé got hit by a car or something, but my family and friends have been annoyingly healthy throughout the course of my life.

So when I told Dr. Jamie about the scar on my stomach and how I’d lost my spleen when I was fifteen years old, she had an epiphany.  I chose the name Seymour because I think Seymour Spleen has a nice ring to it and because when the doctors did exploratory surgery on my stomach, they definitely got to see more of me than anyone else ever has.  Get it?  See more.  Seymour.  It’s kind of a play on words.  Anyhow, I did a little research and I found out just how important you were in my formative years, and I wanted to write you this letter to say thank you and to get some closure to our relationship.

So, here we go…

Thank you, Seymour.  You were the largest of my lymph organs in more ways than one.  For the first fifteen years of my life, you rested in the hypochondriac region of my abdominal cavity, between the fundus of my stomach and my diaphragm.  You prevented millions of disease organisms from entering my system with your spleen tissue, and then you attacked them with your lymphocytes.  Don’t think I didn’t appreciate that.  They say that an average spleen weighs about 0.2 kilograms, but the surgery report stated that you were almost twice that size, an entire pound of purple, peritoneum-covered companionship.

I know that Pancreas and Kidney have totally missed your company.  Seriously.  I hear about it all the time.  “Where’d Seymour go?”  “We miss Seymour.”  Oh, they go on and on.  I am aware that Bone Marrow has taken over the production of red blood cells since I was a baby, but I’ll tell you something, the quality of workmanship has gone down considerably.  And I’m not just saying that.  Never send a bone to do a spleen’s job, I always say.  Furthermore, I’ve never seen Bone Marrow put in overtime removing bile pigments like you used to.  If you think Liver didn’t appreciate that, you’re crazy!

I think about the horrible afternoon of your passing all the time.  I replay the events of that awful day in my head and try to figure out how I could have prevented it.  I blame myself, if you want to know the truth.  The doctors tell me that it wasn’t my fault, that these things happen, but I can’t help but think that if I hadn’t jumped off of that roof and landed on my stomach, you’d still be here with us today, Seymour.

I guess that’s about it.  I just wanted to let you know that you’ll be missed.  To this day, whenever I step on a scale, I automatically add one extra pound to my weight and think of you.  The experts say that you can live to be a hundred years old without your spleen, but what kind of fucking life is that?  That’s what I want to know.

In Loving Memory,

Dale Bridges (your former host body)

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One Response to “A Letter to My Surgically Removed Spleen, Seymour”

  1. Autumn Baker Says:

    Got to love that wit. Always have, always will. 🙂


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