Meeting the Doctor, illustrated by Christian Roman

“Transplants are commonplace nowadays, even routine,
so no impediments remain to performing the process
on oneself. Pleased to meet you. Doctor Kenneth Frank—Ken’s fine.
Transplants. Symbiology. You’ve probably guessed
the hand you shook just now was not always mine.

My gardener, a former cowpoke and prizefighter, possessed
musculature that was enviable, indeed.
When he quite unexpectedly passed,
I imagined a mutually beneficial arrangement. His cadaver agreed,
you might say. His arm lives on, serves me and retains

the strength and soul of his brawn and breed.
You felt him in the handshake. You met him, too,
just then. Sadly, his left hand would not accede
motor control (damned thing). But look here! Mismatched, it’s true.
My left belonged to a concert harpist. Female, yes.

It was her dominant hand, so although in school,
I was right-handed, I now find myself ambidextrous—
and master of this limb’s delicacy. My sutures
have become gestures with the power and finesse
of music. See my ankle? The fine needlework

scarcely left a scar. I’ll never suffer again with as scabrous
an attachment as my first shoulder. I’m an artist now.
You’d almost think this was the leg I myself grew as a fetus.
Realize you are standing before a crowd,
all of us animated by a medical brain ahead of its future.

The procedure is costly, to be sure, but you learn to stop counting.
Take my card in case I might help you out, someday, somehow.”

Christian Roman is a story artist at Pixar Animation,
having been in the animation industry for over 20 years.
He has worked on such projects as The Simpsons,
King of the Hill, Disney's Fillmore! and Toy Story 3


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