02 Coma by Robin Cook

02 Coma by Robin Cook

Author:Robin Cook [Cook, Robin]
Format: epub
Published: 0101-01-01T00:00:00+00:00

Tuesday

February 24

11:45 A.M.

Bellows looked up at the floor indicator above the door. He had to cock his head way back, as he was almost directly under it. He knew that he had to hustle in order to be on time for his case, a hemorrhoid operation on a sixty-two-year-old man. It wasn’t his idea of a fascinating case but he loved to operate. Once he got going and felt the strange sense of responsibility which the knife afforded, he didn’t really care where he was working, stomach or hand, mouth or asshole.

Bellows thought about seeing Susan that night, and he felt a sense of pleasurable anticipation. Everything would be fresh and unspoiled. Their conversation could range over any one of a thousand topics. And physically? Bellows had no idea what to expect. In fact he wondered how he would be able to bridge the colleaguelike rapport they had already established. Within himself he sensed a very positive physical reaction toward Susan but it began to trouble him. In a lot of ways, sex meant aggression to Bellows, and he didn’t feel any aggression toward Susan, not yet.

A smile crept over his face as he imagined himself kissing Susan impulsively. It made him remember those awkward adolescent moments in his early youth when he would continue some banal conversation with his pimpled date right up to her doorstep. Then without warning he would kiss the girl, hard and sloppy. Then he’d step back to see what happened, hoping for acceptance but fearing rejection. It had never ceased to amaze him when he found acceptance, because in many ways he didn’t know why he was kissing the girl in the first place.

The concept of seeing Susan socially reminded Bellows of those early years of dating because he felt an inner urge for physical contact yet did not expect it. Susan was obviously palpable and luscious, yet she was going to be a doctor, as he was. Hence she would have little appreciation for the trump card Bellows always felt in a social situation—most everyone was impressed when he said he was a doctor, a surgeon! It didn’t matter that Bellows himself knew that being a doctor did not assure any special attributes, contrary to popular mythology. In fact, if he used many of the attending surgeons at the Memorial as examples, the effect of admitting such an association should have been a handicap. But what really bothered Bellows was the knowledge that a penis would hold little fascination for Susan; in all probability she had dissected one.

Bellows did not reduce his own sexual urges and fantasies to anatomical and physiological realities, but what about Susan? She looked so normal with her smile, her soft skin, the hint of her breast gently rising with her breathing. But she had studied the parasympathetic reflexes, and the endocrine alterations that make sex possible, even enjoyable. Maybe she had studied too much, too much of the wrong thing. Maybe even if the occasion was auspicious, Bellows would find his penis limp, impotent.



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