I can only study the brain for so long. Most of my co-workers love nothing more than to slice off thin layers of cortex like making a sandwich. I’ve never seen anyone take a scalpel to brain tissue without giggling and salivating.
Here’s this grey/pink chunk right here. Know what that is? That’s Dave. He had a wife and two kids. Divorced in his late fifties and spent most of his sixties traveling around betting on golf courses. He was the most upstanding person from Las Vegas I’ve ever known.
I never actually met the guy. But the second I got his brain, I did a quick search to see the type of specimen we were dealing with. His Facebook page was still active. He had a lot of pictures. Here’s one of his posts:
There’s nothing more sensuous
than to hear: retroactive salary payment.
Not completely sure what he’s talking about there. Here’s one with a personal touch:
Dinner with friends from 30 years ago.
Bring on 3 more decades of shenanigans!
His liver wasn’t much good. Nor were his lungs. Most of his organs were incinerated with the rest of his body. But I’m told his kidneys were quite salvageable and here, of course, we have his brain.
In there, a galaxy of neurons was frozen in the dance of consciousness. With all this machinery more or less intact, you’d think it would be possible to start ’er up again. Jumpstart this old grey Jello with some kind of voodoo chant and get the old boy talking again.
“Hi! I do real estate investments and golf on the weekends… God, how fortunate am I to be blessed with these two kids, even if they’re brats! …Ah, my guts! My poor ass! …Yeah, hit with a dose of colon cancer. It’s out of control. It’s the iceberg and my body’s the Titanic. Ship’s going down. Last game of golf, I guess, then off to catch something real nasty from the best-looking escort in Vegas. What the hell, you know? Wish me luck!”
I took a slice out of his cortex. “Not a bad looking slab of brain you got there, Dave,” I said.
“Not bad? Damn, Rob, that’s looking primo!”
It was Dr. Meyers with a steak knife. Passing through the lab, he took a generous slice of Dave, slapped it between two pieces of bread, and went out to join everyone on lunch break.
I threw off my gloves with a shrug. Needing a break myself, I took a small slice and joined the others in the cafeteria.
Peter Clarke is a writer native to Port Angeles, Washington currently living in Oakland, California. His short fiction has appeared in 3AM Magazine, Curbside Splendor, Hobart, and elsewhere. He’s an assistant editor for Fifth Wednesday Journal and founding editor of Jokes Review. See: www.petermclarke.com. His Twitter handle is @harveydukeman.