X Marks the Spot

Sargent | Study of Madame X

“Scandal turned her forever into Madame X. She shocked Paris with her provocative pose when Sargent exhibited her in 1884. He felt that it was his finest work.” 


“Welcome to my neck of the woods.” I greeted my neurosurgeon before he cut my throat open in surgery at the end of September. “It’s not your neck I’m worried with.” he said. He was making rounds in pre-op to mark my surgical site with an X, the most powerful of all letters.

I didn’t think to ask him to save my cervical disk so I could display it on a necklace like a shark tooth. I imagine it was destroyed and given to the flame.

But the last conversation I had before surgery was with the nurse. She said, “This is a little something to help you relax.” as she gave me an IV push of Versed. It worked so well that when I returned home the next day, I discovered the single most affirming word, “YES”, written with a sharpie on my  back!


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