The Surgical Story / by Reginald Crump

I pick up the phone.

"Merry Christmas I have a special gift for you today!"

It's Manchild!!!

He's calling from his mothers who also sends Christmas wishes.

Manchild loves a good surprise and practical jokes. I can only imagine what might be in store for this day that Jesus was born.

Since the first night of my hospital stay the whirlwind of concern and confusion has also lead to the when's and how's Manchild might get to Virginia.

Until 2016, our holiday celebrations have always meant that we split for Turkey Day and Christmas. It's been the right thing to do, understanding that neither of us felt the need to pull away from family tradition that had been in place for decades. We of course enjoy the holidays but we haven't been at all wrapped up in the need to create our personal new traditions.

Until now.

Thanksgiving 2016 saw us driving 7 hrs at 4am in a rental car to Williamsburg, Virginia to stay for 3 days. The day after Thanksgiving we drove to Maryland to celebrate Manchilds birthday. That was my first time driving that distance. I can get use to it, if I have to.

So, now it's Christmas Day.

My cousins who are located close to WMBG are visiting their younger brother who resides in Northern Virginia with his significant other. I've heard through the grapevine that there has been talk of them picking Manchild up to bring him when they come. Of course he doesn't tell me any of this. I should mention, as much as Manchild loves to surprise, I like figuring out surprises. I'm psychic. But this time I don't spoil the fun like I usually do.

We talk about the success of the party he spun for before traveling home to his moms, my surprise guest and the meals they've been feeding me and my escalating blood pressure.

For years now we've spent short amounts of time on the phone on Christmas morning before heading into the day of creating memories and celebrating with family and friends of the family, without each other.

We completed our conversation with our usual I love u's and I'll call u later.

I immediately call my mother before I call my sister.

Merry Christmas, what are y'all doing? She puts me on speaker phone and turns it up loud, so that my dad can hear me as well.

"Finishing up breakfast and getting ready to go to church." We'll be down to the hospital early this evening. How are you feeling?"

I'm ok, I've had breakfast already, now I'm talking on the phone and watching HGTV. You know just hanging out in a hospital gown with my ass out and occasionally having to pee into this Tupperware thing they gave me. It's so convenient, the tupperware thingy. I need one for home. I'll never ever have to get up to pee during the night again.

My mom and dad burst into laughter.

"That's all you watch is HGTV isn't it?"

For the most part.

I guess I'm learning a lot from it.

I'm learning about home decor, construction, flipping houses, the world, desire, wants vs. needs, classism, colonialism, gentrification, excessiveness. It's fun filled entertainment. I love it. Besides when I turn it off all I can focus on is B-Flat and A-Sharp.