The Operation | The New Engagement
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The Operation

By LeRoy Kangalee

The doctors believe I am faking it or that I am trying to get out of something.  Who would fake anything? Other than women on those unfortunate occasions or madness—to get out of war. But there is no longer any draft and I am not in danger or doing drugs or seeing ghosts or hearing voices (other than my own) or suicidal or depressed.  I have not come to this decision out of despair or because no one loves me.  Quite the contrary.  I came to this decision out of love for my fellow man and appreciation, specifically, for the women in this world.  And I should like to think my mother is looking down on me, smiling and proud.  In fact, when the operation is done—I will probably look more like her than my own sister.

It has been difficult convincing my psychiatrist, but he seems to be coming around.  I hope.  Sometimes I am not sure, he looks at me strangely and this makes me feel uncomfortable and I wonder if I must prepare myself for those types of looks when I go to the gynecologist or look for shoes in a department store and the woman working in the store is not as attractive as I am.  I have three psychiatrists.  They all think I am crazy.

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I wake up in the morning and go to bed at night with this uncompromising feeling, this visceral need to open the window and shout out to the world my true feelings and reasons.  To confess and purge my guilt: I was a wife beater years ago.  My first and only wife.  She was half my size and I broke her face once with my fist.  The plastic surgeon that fixed her face is the plastic surgeon that is going to fix mine.  He is the only one I can trust, for he was the one who made me change my ways, express my frustration, deal with my inadequacy, my impotence, my need to destroy.  I realized that by attending the group meetings, what I felt I had honestly always been aware of: simultaneously, my fear and hatred of women and the possession that took over my soul on that fateful morning when the election results had been reported.  I tried explaining this to a priest, but he will not talk to me.  No one will talk to me.

No one will believe me that the demon in me is running the country.  And that the bible-fearing woman defending the president is all we have accomplished and I tell the doctors that we must hate ourselves, then, and they do not respond.

That morning he took over, my mother died, I struck my wife, and I experienced a profound auditory experience while skimming through the television channels that day, for I was a channel surfer and God knows I had no interest in politics or presidents or history or war or social affairs or anything.  I worked six days a week and was concentrating on staying out of the pool hall and being the first in our crowd to purchase a house.  Well, actually Langley Corvina beat me to it.  But he had it a bit easier - his father was a defense attorney and his mother had good credit.  He bought a huge house in Atlanta.  His wife is gorgeous; she was the first wife I had ever met who made me feel ashamed to be a man.  However, she was not the first woman.  The first woman was my mother.

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