Pygmalion

Pygmalion

You came to me first to become thinner, I complied. Your face was complacent and blank under anesthesia, but I remembered the way you smiled when you introduced yourself. You always took me longer than it should have, I was being so careful. You would come again and again, at first I told myself you were just more business: another satisfied customer to gloat over. You were rich, and I was skilled. Then I told you that you were beautiful already. But you begged me and I couldn't resist. 'It's about how the patient sees themselves, after all' was my only justification. Justification for final touches, tucks, smoothening. You were addicted, but the addiction was mutual. When you sculpt, you don't see what is there, you see what will remain when you have finished your handiwork – see the face already even in a block of clay. But even a living human being can be art. God's art, or man's art, it doesn't matter. God can make a tree, but even I can make a smile, a slight curvature. I never thought God was so great. Great for what? Creating you? Are you so vain, are you so great? And then I met you and I understood.

In between there were burn victims, mostly. Exploded implants to fix, sometimes scars to hide. You were always so close to perfect. I was biased, I admit, during our consults – just one last thing, we both would say. I tried to remember, later, when it was I first noticed you. When it was I first saw you as my masterpiece, my goddess. But I am an idealist. I saw you that way from the start.