I have a friend living in New York City.
She and I met in Kolda, Senegal, while serving in the Peace Corps.
We’ll call her Heather, which may or may not be her name.
She is one of the most colorful, generous, lively women that I know. She is also, in the best possible way, a little crazy. I love this about her, because it means I can never know what to expect from a phone call, or a visit. The last time I saw her, she was almost dragged from JFK airport by security for throwing party favors in baggage claim.
I once received a six minute voicemail detailing her intricate and horrifyingly grotesque halloween costume. The fact that it was a costume managed to slip her mind, so the whole time I was listening, I thought she had been seriously injured.
Are you wondering why this blog is entitled: Are you my cadaver? I’m almost there.
Heather has gone back to school for her doctorate. She is studying physical therapy.
This morning, I discovered a note that she hastily jotted, and sent to me in a package almost two years ago.
It got me reminiscing.
In said note, Heather was excitedly confessing her latest morbid fetish.
She knew that within months, she would be entering the cadaver lab at her school. She would be assigned a body, donated to the school in the name of science. To say that she was excited about the opportunity to see the inner workings of a human body would be a colossal understatement. She was overwhelmed with curiosity, jittery with anticipation.
She was so excited that she had begun following elderly people around New York City, watching them, analyzing the way their muscles moved, wondering to herself, “Are you my cadaver?”
She couldn’t tear herself away from them. She confessed to having followed an elderly man for almost six blocks past her apartment door.
I realize that this may sound really disturbing to some of you. Keep in mind that Heather is one of the kindest people I’ve ever met. I have no doubt that if any of the elderly people she was stalking stopped her and asked what she was doing, she would have made a full confession. She would have wormed her way into their hearts, I have no doubt at all.
Regardless, I did make a phone call after receiving that note. I left a message because she was probably too busy tailing a retired person to answer. I kept it simple.
“Hey Heather, I just wanted to leave a quick message to let you know that I got your note, and also to tell you that you can’t follow elderly people around hoping for them to die. It’s not right. It’s creepy. I think you know that. Anyway, I’ll talk to you later. Bye.”