Author : Tony Healey
When my heart decided to start failing on me around my seventy-fifth, the doctors offered me a bio-mechanical one. They called it ‘the ox;’ so called because it apparently never wore out. I remember sitting in the consultants office, surrounded by plastic models of replacement limbs and artificial eyeballs. Dr Fenwick sat at ease in front of me with his hands folded on his desk.
I asked him what the procedure involved. He described the removal of my damaged heart and the attachment of a device to keep the blood circulating in my body in its absence. It was then a simple case of reattaching the old arteries to the new ones in the mecha heart. I had enough of a nest egg put away that I could afford the procedure, so I agreed to it. Dr Fenwick stood and we shook on it. He regarded my prosthetic hand; the result of a traffic accident in my thirties.
“You know, we have replacements for these now,” he said.
“Do you?” I asked.
“Yes. We could replace it with one that looks almost life-like. You’d regain most of the dexterity in your fingers as well,” he said.
“Well I could…” I stammered, my mind reeling. I’d gotten used to not having the use of the fingers on my left hand, and now the thought of having it all back made me nauseous.
“Do you wear those all the time?” he asked, nodding at my glasses.
My head span. Hearts, Hands… Eyes… What else could they replace? I asked him.
He simply shrugged. “Everything,” Dr Fenwick said. “And we do insurance…”
I was still in that office hours later, booking up more enhancements. I allowed Dr Fenwick to convince me into putting the last of my money toward an extensive insurance policy. It wasn’t until later that I realized they would just keep on replacing things, even the new parts when they wore out or malfunctioned. I should have felt full of energy, knowing that I’d significantly extended my life span beyond what it was meant to be, but I didn’t. I felt tired.
I wondered how tired I would become…