Jan. 12th, 2007

rewritethepast: (determined)
On Tuesday, I committed school-sanctioned murder.

The murder weapon? Formalin.

My partner-in-crime? Joan.

And death only came to our victim after we forcibly disintegrated its brain and spinal cord (using a probe) and removed most of its skin cells. It tried weakly (unintentionally) to poison us when we cut off its cheeks (where the poison was stored/secreted) but it only got a bit of Joan’s cheek.

I know it’s normal, and it’s for science (and I did learn a lot from the experience), but for some reason I still feel sorry for the frog.

There was so much blood, gushing from the holes we made and falling down on the ground. And even as we skinned it, we saw its heart beat weakly and oh, its body is so cold.

And then it’s the end and we wash up our scalpels and scissors, pouring the diluted formalin in our glass jar and there you go in, frog, and that’s that. No more eleventh hour reprieve, no more last bids for freedom.

And on Tuesday, oh dear Tuesday, it’s your muscles next. (To my knowledge, that is.)

***

Is it sadistic to derive pleasure from causing an animal pain?

Because in some weird bizarre way I enjoyed skinning our frog, enjoyed snipping the fragile threads holding the epithelial skin cells to the muscles, enjoyed seeing its muscles in all their nakedness. (Of course, I did have a cold so I couldn’t smell it – my classmates all complained about the frog’s smell.) And while we relieved our frog of its largest organ, its heart kept beating, reminding us that our specimen was still alive. And I’d feel a pang of guilt for the frog and think and then Ma’am will remind us to continue skinning and I’d pick up the scalpel and scissors again and snip snip snip I go and more of the skin ends up on the board where the frog’s pinned to. (We drove pins through its erm, paws. We all thought of “Crucifixion,” except the hind feet weren’t pinned together but separated.)

I couldn’t really hold the frog while it was alive (alive and not paralyzed), but it seemed normal (and even natural) to hold it once it stopped being able to move.

Its muscles are fascinating. They were slippery and dark red and cold to the touch and when we removed the skin we tried not to cut them (and I think we succeeded, to a point). I kept thinking to myself, I’m holding a naked muscle (not encased by skin) that isn’t cooked in my hand, a muscle still attached to a living organism. It’s fascinating, from its surprisingly tough dark skin (hard to cut even with the sharp pairs of scissors included in our dissecting kits) to its very small thumbs (the indicator of whether a frog is male or female – I think ours was male since its thumbs were a bit swollen, but one of my classmates reckons he got a pregnant frog), to its cheeks which secrete a creamy yellow poison to its weakly beating heart. And we’ve only started observing it externally. Do you know how to remove the skin of a frog stuck to its feet? You pull it off like you would a glove (although it needs more pressure).

There’s a psychological thing here, but I’m missing it by a mile.

I wonder how I’ll feel when it’s cat-dissecting time. Wait, I think the cats will be killed before we dissect them. Maybe when it’s shark-dissecting time.

***

Why is it that nothing goes right?

Or maybe everything’s just wrong.

Same banana.

Or maybe not.

***

I blush when I think of it, although I think I shouldn’t.

But it’s like an entirely new feeling now, blushing like this. It’s not because of embarrassment, nor is it because I feel sick, but…

Maybe, just maybe, I’m feeling something for someone I haven’t known for a long time now.

Or maybe I’m still sick.

***

You know those times when you just want to curl up and sleep but you can’t because propriety demands you stay awake?

Danged propriety.

***

I’m still sick and I know I’m not getting better.

And you know something? It’s all your fault.


***

I honestly think life should have save points. You know, those areas in role-playing video games where one can save before embarking on a new adventure or continuing one. Imagine saving before tests, before confessing, before mouthing off to a teacher… Then you can reset to the last saved part of your life if you don’t like the results.

Then again, I’d probably end up saving every three minutes or so. So I’ll just hover around the save areas for the rest of my life. Donk.

***

I have a new friend. She’s (I think she’s female) terribly light and rather brittle, and she can accompany me to school in my backpack. I’m terribly interested in her (at least I need to be interested) and I know I’ll learn a lot from her.

And she only cost 60 pesos (thank you UP Manila for the price cut)! Hee, it’s weird having a frog skeleton on your bed.

***

Many people tell me to not listen to her, but it's like a knife in one's heart when she reminds you that you're not like other people, that you're not biologically perfect like them.

I shouldn't listen.

But I'm required to.

***

The Math Long Test I had earlier killed me.

But at least there were no swimming cockroaches (although when we left the campus Joan and Joanne encountered a lot of them on the street) nor rain (it rained the day before) nor denial of the right to use calculators.

Or something like that.

And now it's time to study for my two departmental exams tomorrow. Donk.

***

Belated happy birthday Nya :)

***

It’s you I still dream about.

And it’s you that keeps me wanting not to wake up anymore.

January 2008

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