So dissection classes started. My Cunningham’s manual, dissecting sets, Frank Netter’s Human Atlas, lab coat, rubber gloves, facemasks – all these I had before stepping into the “white house” in the naiivity of what exactly to expect.
Presented to us on different tables were different cadavers of different sizes and postures. Whoever named dead bodies “cadaver” must be blessed with the gift of naming horrific objects in such a manner that it gives the listener a beautiful perspective of the object.
The cadavers were as black as charcoal, more like clay moulded into human figures and then painted black. The irritating sight of the body, pungent smell and burning feeling in the eyes caused by the formalin was nothing compared to the sound of the word “cadaver”.
By each table, were 20 students. Two students dissect the same cadaver at the same time, another 2 read the manual to the hearing of the rest of the members of the table.
For my group, we named our cadaver Jonathan. Jonathan was of an average height, black in complexion and quite hairy. He had black and grey hair, short grey beards and potbelly. He looked like he was in his mid 60’s before he gave up the ghost but his penis is still big and strong, quite too strong for a man his age (well shows that even in death, Jonathan was still a man…. Lol).
Standing in front of Jonathan, I wondered the kind of life he lived in his life time. Was he a lovely husband and father whose wife and children were expecting to come home but never returned? Certainly not! He didn’t look it! ( as if it even shows on the face)
Jonathan looked like he was an “alabaru” in Ketu market or rather, a truck pusher in Eko Idumota market, one who does strenuous jobs to sustain himself alone. From my point of view, he had no wife. He probably might have had grown up children who didn’t care about him either because he wasn’t a good and responsible father when they were kids or because they didn’t know he was in existence. They might have not been aware of his existence because he might have denied them when their mother(s) were pregnant. So when they grew up, they couldn’t trace him anywhere.
Jonathan looked more like a man who would drink “burukutu” at Iya Kafaya’s spot before starting the day’s work, and would also spend the rest of his evenings at Iya fatimoh’s corner drinking “Shepe” with his peers after each day’s work.
Right there, on the same spot, I pondered further, wondering how Jonathan got to our gross anatomy laboratory. This led me to formulate another hypothesis again about his death.
Maybe Jonathan was severely down with malaria or typhoid fever. After taking a few traditional herbs popularly called “agbo iba”, things grew worse, nobody took care of him, then he finally gave up the ghost in his one room apartment. His neighbours probably reported the case to the police who took his remains to a public mortuary. Since he had no relatives in contact with him, his remains remained unclaimed. LUTH being a federal teaching hospital got access to it and it became a cadaver in my lab.
Or maybe, as he was “jejely” pushing his truck by the road, one foolish hit and run driver knocked him down hardly, so much that he couldn’t survive. Since there was no form of identification or contacting his relatives, he had to end up in my lab.
Moving around in the lab to observe other cadavers and there was this one that got my attention. He looked like he was a correct “agbero” in his lifetime. Infact, the posture with which he lay was as though he was still in a physical fight. His face very stern, eyes opened and fists tightly clenched. I examined his body for bullet wounds and deep matchet cut but found none. Only stitches of bruises were seen.
“So what exactly killed him?” so i was led into another imaginary summary of his life.
He was probably born into a low class family. Growing up, he lacked the motivation and right plans to terminate his family’s penury. Or maybe he was just too lazy to make himself a better person and found solace in the world “agberos”.
Being an “omo-ita”, he got engaged in a fight with a fellow “omo-ita”. After several tough sections of the fight, it seemed as if his contending counterpart was being overshadowed and was going to lose the battle, it was then the contender decided to use his charm – Yes! The “afose” charm. It made this guy to fall and die instantly in the middle of his fight and so ended up in my lab.
These may or may not be the true story of this fellow and Jonathan.
These were just the innocent thoughts of a concerned student.
Moral lesson: If you don’t want to end up as a naked cadaver in my gross anatomy lab for the precious parts of your body to be indiscriminately cut into pieces (dissection) by some mean students who are only desperate to pass, then avoid being as lonely as Jonathan and also detest to be an “agbero”. Lol