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This is what it was all about: better to be scarred by the Zorro, than beaten by sergeant Garcia, wasn't it?

The morning I entered the hospital, after waiting impatiently for several hours, I was finally accepted in the operating theatre. Local anaesthesia, they had told me. I knew what that meant: staying awake during the whole performance. Not at all like in my previous operation, in which I entered that state of unconsciousness where nothing matters.

Once the method and the operating area were defined the decision taken by the surgeon , master of ceremonies and his group of followers, small oriental creatures - was to proceed. They cleaned and disinfected the right side of my face with a cold torch. My face! The face which I have carried along, safe and protected as an armour, for the last hundred and fifty years, and always uncovered! Now, poor, poor face, it receives an attack here as described.

I fully understood what was going to come when, tenderly, I was given a green turban to protect my eyes from the strong light, coming from fan shaped torches that replaced the ceiling ... they told me ... to protect my eyes ...

What? Blindness?

One thing is to be operated on with local anaesthesia - I was ready for that. But with blind eyes! I wasn't expecting that!

Suddenly, I wanted to scream: mama!! Come and take me away from here!

What am I doing here anyway? What are they going to do to me? It is a nightmare! Yes, surely, a nightmare ...


Breath deeply, think about anything ... concentrate your mind on something irrelevant ... you cannot avoid this ... no ways ... no escape from here.

It was my right hand forefinger, connected to a clothes peg with a traffic light, which helped my mind wonder and avoid the present.

I played at recognising the voices around me, voices belonging to faces I had only seen covered with bandits' masks.

So, an everlasting hour passed. I heard voices with oriental accents, while small hands extracted parts, clipped adjacent areas, and added extra anaesthesia when my grunts requested it.

"Would you please try to leave a nicely shaped scar? Don't make me lose the opportunity my new unshaven look has found: a model!"

No answer to my joke. Only sounds of the operation being about to conclude.

I expressed an urge for a mirror to look at my face before being covered with what I thought, was going to be a screen of plasters. But I was promptly informed there were no mirrors in this operation theatre. And no plasters.

What? No plasters?

Operation full stop.

Risen in mobile bed to the post operating room.

Nurse, beautiful-come-and-touch-my-scar opens handbag, and takes out a mirror. I have a peep at myself and ...

What? Is that me?

The Zorro, without any consideration to sergeant Garcia, had scarred me from nose to ear.

Shortly afterwards, I was informed they had made a rotation. I demanded an explanation of the method - but an Euclidean geometry has not yet explained how a rather small tumour could have produced such a zig zag.


In a mobile small wheeled bed, shaken, at slow speed, I made a swift entrance to my shared rest room.

The small male wheel on my left must have surely been out late, for he was still fast asleep. Must have been a fancy dress party, for he still wore a mask. A transparent mask, with several tubes coming out from everywhere, ending up in small colourful bottles. Definitely, a carnival party.

The small female wheel on my right had not been in any party. Just the opposite. Faithful to me, she had also been operated that same hayhayhay morning.

I noticed how she noticed, with admiring eyes, my zigzag. I returned her smile and asked with complicity about her state.

"Do you wish to compare zets ... mine is the product of small oriental hands. Yours is appendicitis, isn't it? Let me see ..."

Mixed resting rooms are fantastic. They help to share the stressed post operating hours. Shame there were other adjacent small wheels disturbing our privacy.

Otherwise, it could have developed into a beautiful zigzag encounter in a mobile bed.

Nurse with mirror interrupted - with obvious jealousy, promptly reminding me that I hadn't eaten for a day, and offered me some food.

There were in fact, other more lasting and pressing abstinence's I had gone through, but I opted for the immediate, less visible need.

A good salad, a kidney pie and the bed sheets helped to hide that other pressing, visible need ...

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