Red liquid pooled around my feet, dripping from the eight holes in my abdomen and forming a large red puddle on the floor of my laundry room.
“Gross…” I muttered, and I wondered why it didn’t hurt. Bright red streaks ran across my shorts and down my legs, over my feet and to the floor, drip-drip-drip, incessantly. I couldn’t go get a towel or the liquid would get all over the carpet, so I would just have to stand here until the draining finished.
“What if this was blood?” I wondered, and gave a small shudder, and thanked my stars that it wasn’t.
I leaned up against the wall as the fluid drained out of me and thought back to how I ended up here. Not all that complicated, really. Four years before, I had gone from 255 pounds to 175 pounds. “How did you do it?” everyone asked, and I shrugged and gave easy answers like “Well, I started caring about myself, eating better, and exercising.” The weight had come off rather quickly, and it was immediately apparent. I was a completely different person that few years that I spent obese, both inside and outside.
And since then, I had been getting into shape slowly and surely, consistently and steadily. I had no plans to run a marathon or enter a body-building competition, I just wanted to look on the outside like I felt on the inside. And I felt good, so I wanted to look good. Putting on muscle inspired more confidence, feeling like an athlete during a workout made me feel like I could do anything I set my mind to.
Yet no matter how hard I had tried, I couldn’t lose that last little bit of fat around the middle. It wasn’t debilitating, it was just… there. And I didn’t like it. The last vestiges of my former life. And so I thought about it for a few years, saved up for a long time, and decided to go in for liposuction. I had had LASIK surgery years before and it had been life-changing. This one would definitely be confidence-boosting.
The first appointment, I had met with a super-model-looking woman, a brunette with perfect make-up and tanned skin. She’d been a little bit flirtatious. “Oh, Chad, you’ll look so hot after this procedure! Wow, you’ll turn heads! You’ll be glad you did this for your whole life! You are so making the right decision!”
And then, on the day of the actual procedure, the gorgeous women had walked me through a set of double-doors to the medical clinic, where a very short and very chubby nurse waited for me. She was wonderful and attentive and sweet, but I had been horrified that they kept this wonderful woman behind the doors and hired the model to be up front. After a time, and some before pictures, the doctor came back and drew all over me with marker, gave me some anesthetic (I chose the mildest), and began filling my abdomen with Lidocaine.
The red liquid pumped into me in surprising quantities, and the doctor explained that they were inserting it between the skin and muscle to help separate things and deaden the appropriate areas. My stomach swelled up, full of liquid.
Then he punctured my abdomen in eight small places, along the top bottom, and sides of my stomach.
And then he began inserting a small tube and, no way to say it any other way, sucked fat out of my abdomen. He explained that this procedure would permanently remove the fat cells from these areas of my body. I could gain fat again in the future, but it would collect in other areas of my body; this was a permanent transformation.
I watched yellow adipose move through the tube out of my body and plop into a bucket nearby. And in time, there was literally a bucket of gloppy squishy fat in a bucket next to me. A bucket of fat. A literal bucket of fat.
“Wow, I’m getting more out of you than I expected to. You were hiding this well in there,” the doctor said, like he was complimenting me. I pictured him doing this all day, every day, sucking fat out of people, and wondered what the world felt like when that became routine. I guessed that his paycheck more than compensated for any job related stress.
And pretty soon I had a friend driving me home, my body wrapped up tightly in a body stocking. I had laid an old blanket down on the couch and slept for a long time. And then, when the time was right, I got up to loosen the stocking, unclasping and unzipping it.
And there it was, the Lidocaine pooling on the floor, clearing itself out of my system. It took nearly an hour before the dripping stopped, and then an hour after that cleaning up the massive mess with piles of towels, which were tossed into the washer, one red-stained mass.
The recovery after that had gotten a bit easier every day, but it did take a while. For the first few weeks, my entire abdomen felt bruised and sore, stretched tight. I rubbed Arnica lotion on the skin a few times per day, and took Arnica pills, which was supposed to reduce swelling. I took a lot of aspirin. I wore the body stocking a lot. The next few months, my stomach constantly felt like I had just done one thousand sit-ups, the muscles tired and tight. But I could tell a difference immediately.
It’s been ten months now and I can definitely tell a difference in my abdomen after the procedure. My confidence is higher, my exercise routine continues to increase. I didn’t tell many people I had had it done, not that I was ashamed, mostly because it was no one else’s business. The procedure is paid off. I get Emails from the company from time to time, asking if I need something else done, and I smile and simply don’t reply.
Once was enough. I chose it carefully, saved up for it, and did something for me. And that felt good.
And besides, now I have stories to tell about pooling puddles of Lidocaine and buckets of yellow fat.