The room is set. You are ready for the procedure and the body has been laid out in front of you. You look at the apparatus that’s have been neatly set out for you to carry out the procedure and give a mental nod to the staff at this facility. Their attention to detail is exemplary.
You inspect the body. Usually its different body parts, but today you are dealing with a full body. You can’t help but imagine how the body’s owner must have felt in the moments leading up to this. Did it realize what was happening? That it’s life was coming to a tragic end. Surely the constant disappearance of all its colleagues must have made it aware of how it’d all go down for it. That’s beside the point now, its body is here in front of you, evidently lifeless, and so all your pondering means naught. But you can’t help but wonder on these life and death questions sometimes. Because of how often this same scenario plays out, the process leading up to it never ceases to fascinate you.
You bring your wandering mind back to the body at hand and admire the skills of the person who prepared it for the procedure. You must seek them out later and commend them on how excellent they are at their craft. You drape yourself with the white cloth that’s been provided by the establishment. Its purpose it to protect you from any staining. With your skill levels though, it’s been a while since you handed back a stained cloth.
White. You’ve always found it ironical that such a pure color would be associated with such a messy process. When you were just starting out, you even made a case for more mess friendly colors like black or brown. Your argument was that white must be hell for the people responsible for washing up after. But since the introduction of washing machines and some pretty strong detergents, your arguments no longer hold water. You’ve even come to appreciate the aura of crispness that white brings to the experience.
You take a deep breath and let out the air slowly. You take another deep breath as you feel your body get ready for action. Sometimes, the circumstances do allow you this simple routine to prep yourself, but today, you are determined to do this right. You can feel all your senses tensing and synchronizing to a single tempo such that your entire body is focused on the task at hand. Yes, the zone has been yingiyed.
You grab one of the tools in front of you and tap its edge with the pointing finger of your other hand to test its sharpness. It is a cutting tool and this particular one doesn’t feel sharp enough. You summon one of the assistants that is hovering around and ask them to bring you a sharper one. The first cut into the body has an almost religious quality for you and lousy apparatus have ruined this experience in the past. Your comrades have sometimes mockingly complained that you attach too much sentimental value to the first cut, but you are deaf to them, them haters. Heck, even songs have been sung about the first cut.
You briefly reminisce on the days when you had just started out and your mates used to mock the way you used to fumble with the equipment. Yours was a crude background where hands were the preferred, and sometimes only, apparatus. But you are easily the most skilled among your peers now. The dexterity with which you now handle the apparatus to slice through body’s makes it seem like you were born doing this. Time and practice, you kept on telling the upstarts. Time and practice. But they never seemed to listen, big headed kids of these days! Maybe you should mock them too seeing as that worked out well for you. Gentleness isn’t proving to be an effective technique for mentoring.
Satisfied with the quality of the new cutting tool the assistant hands over, you place a differently shaped tool in your other hand and lean in for the cut. You actually know the names of these tools but choose to keep on calling them tools to add mystery to the nature of the procedure. The lighting in the room is just right so you don’t have to strain your eyes that much. Besides, accumulated experience over the years has left you with a sixth sense when it comes to this, to the point where you can do it blindfolded. You examine the body’s surface and locate the area you are looking for to make that first incision. The best place is at the bone joints where you find the least resistance. You gently ease your knife into the flesh and can almost feel some invisible force flee the body as your apparatus penetrates the surface. The flesh beneath the surface is tender, and once again you marvel at the skills of whoever it was that prepared the body for you. You sink the tool in deep through thick muscle till you feel it make contact with a bone. You then expertly turn the slicing tool and cut along the surface of the bone till a huge chunk of flesh lies separated from the rest of the body.
You have now reached the pivotal point of this process and you want to postpone it as long as possible to build anticipation. This point has always been the determining point for how excited you will be to execute your duties at a facility again. What the heck, you think to yourself, you’ll have to get done with the deed sooner or later so you might just as well get on with it. You gracefully use the tools in your hands to lift the piece of detached flesh to your mouth. Once it has made impact, you let it rest on your tongue for a bit and let the taste slowly spread to corners of your mouth. Only when your taste buds are soaked in the pleasant sensations do you start chewing…
In conclusion, I can’t be the only one that feels like they are performing a complex surgery when they eat meat, especially chicken and fish, with a fork and knife.