A. D. MacDonald - July 2005
Kidney: A Love Story
Miss Farmer, divorced three times over, was found in a bath tub of ice, her side stitched up with what appeared to be dental floss. She said she knew who had taken her kidney – a sweet man, really, a doctor whose career had been cut short by a fairly hefty malpractice suit. ‘Surely a few drinks couldn’t hinder a trained professional’s performance that much, could it?’ she reasoned, rubbing her foot against his shins underneath the diner table. It had been years since Miss Farmer last had sex and the doctor, kind of cute, truth be told, probably knew a trick or two in bed, looked like he had been around the block in his heyday and seemed to have quite the package looming underneath his tight jeans, just waiting to be sprung loose. He opened his black bag and showed her his assortment of second hand medical utensils. She uncrossed her legs, felt a draft his moisture, then crossed them again.
And all he wanted was her kidney. She had two, after all, why should she be so greedy? Her last husband took the car and the kids, on account of her drinking, and the sex was slow and grinding and a bore. Miss Farmer reasoned that one good night in bed seemed like a fair trade off for a spare organ, especially since most men seemed repulsed by her anyway. Besides, Miss Farmer was only thirty-five when she met the doctor, but a half a decade of loneliness and depression tugged on her face, leaving in their wake heavycreases and forehead wrinkles.
The doctor had slid his hand across the table, took her hand in his own, rubbing his thumb across her knuckles. It’s just a kidney, he said, but we’ll talk business later. So they went to a motel and fucked and moaned and did all of the wonderful things that Miss Farmer missed dearly. When she passed out he sliced her open and removed her kidney, putting it in a cooler and leaving her in a bathtub full of the ice that he had bought at the gas station up the road.
Miss Farmer went into shock. She wasn’t discovered until the motel clerk, greasy and unpaid for the previous night, unlocked the door and found her naked in the tub. He went through her wallet, removed the night’s rent plus a moderate tip, and called an ambulance. With considerable difficulty the EMTs stabilized her condition, eventually coaxing her out of a deep comatose state. Sure enough the doctor’s found a kidney missing, neatly cut-out and by that time floating around on the blackmarket for thousands of dollars. As the police explained to her the inhumane tactics employed by those involved in the organ trade, she leaned back in her hospital bed and smiled: a part of me, worth thousands of dollars! She was flattered, and in her frazzled brain the rogue doctor became her knight in shining armor, assuring her of her own self-worth and making her important again, to someone somewhere with a big bank book and a need for a working kidney. With this delusion etched into her psyche, Miss Farmer refused to aid the police in their investigation, unable to betray her one-night lover and the man who had, quite literally, taken a piece of her.
When she was finally released from the hospital, Miss Farmer went home and immediately cut off her right hand. She then settled into her bathtub, already brimming with ice cubes, and waited. As she once more slid into shock she could see her knight in shining armor, or a long black trenchcoat, galloping up, riding a leather medical bag and wielding his scalpel like Zorro’s rapier. She bled and bled and bled, but the doctor assured her that her hand would go to good use: some orphan in Taiwan had misplaced his own hand one evening and desperately needed a replacement. And so Miss Farmer and the doctor did it in the bathtub, until Miss Farmer closed her eyes, loss of blood making her dizzy, and settled into happy dreams, a smile stretching from ear to ear.
A. D. MacDonald spends his free time