Two of my tank mates were conspicuously absent today. In fact, looking around the room about 1/2 the class was missing.
Pansies. It is only a face.
We looked at each other and sighed.
I broke the silence. “It’s now or never, I guess.” He nodded.
“If you lift his head I can get the gauze off,” he offered.
I grabbed the fellow’s head and lifted it off the shiny metal surface. This was more challenging than one might think because the body was as stiff as a wooden plank and the head was as heavy as a block of concrete.
My partner started unwinding the gauze. It went on and on and on, gathering into a fluffy white cloud on the remains of the previously dissected chest.
Eventually smudges and discolorations started showing through the layers where body fluids had soaked through.
“Look, you are going to have to hurry. I can’t keep this up much longer!” My voice sounded panicky because my arms were shaking like rubber bands.
“Just a second! Almost… done!”
I shifted my fingers to let him unwind the last bit of guaze. Suddenly, the head slipped through my hands and hit the metal slab with a sickening thud.
Bounced? How could even that be possible?
Oh, God. What have I done? Did I break anything?
Blank eyes were staring back at me through opacified corneas.
At least he didn’t look mad.
I took a step back. A hint of five o’clock shadow played on his chin. The hair had been shaved off of his scalp, a 1/4 inch of gray stubble was all that remained.
He looked like my father.