Tag Archives: X-Ray

X is for X-Ray

The last three “Blogging from A to Z in April” posts will be the hardest. There just aren’t that many words that start with x, y, and z. It’s like they put them at the end of the alphabet on purpose, or because they were at the end, by the time they got to them, there were no words left.

As for “x,” there’s only a single page, half the front and half the back of a single page in my dictionary, and most of the words listed are ones I don’t recognize, don’t understand, and certainly don’t ever use.

image by arztsamui / freedigitalphotos.net

X-ray has a technical definition (boring, or rather “I don’t really understand how it works or what it is, so I’m bored by it”). What’s more interesting about the concept is that there is such a technology, one that can see inside our bodies, under the skin, revealing the mystery of a broken bone, the surprise of a cavity, the shock of a tumor–the profound, precious, hidden mess and magic of the body.

As a kid, I totally believed in the possibility, eventual reality, of x-ray glasses. Although, at that time, the only use I could imagine for it was spying on people in the next room or seeing someone in their underwear.

image by chris willis

If someone looked inside of me, took an x-ray, they’d see a malformed and damaged right hip, leg bones that aren’t the same length, an old break in the right pinky finger, lungs that are clear, weakness in the right shoulder, a mind that might be smaller than normal but is healthy, a spine that is slightly bent and sometimes weak but mostly strong, and a heart that’s simultaneously whole and broken.

image by arztsamui / freedigitalphotos.net (with a slight modification by jill)