So it happened. After four years of finding the right, and sometimes the wrong alibi, I decided to go wireless. This morning, 5:30am, woke the kids up, dressed them warm and took them to my brother-in-law's house.

6:45am Quito. A "customer service" lady, frowned face, pissed and cold gaze when I responded "Ecuadorian unfortunately" to the question of "nationality."

7:00am Naked. dress in blue, heading to the knife room thinking about my camera. Why did I leave it behind? Again??? After about 200k digital shots I am still shy when it comes to shooting photos. I should have been a photo journalist that would have spooked my shyness away, I think.

A guy is shaving off my scrotum. This is getting weird, four people are in the room, my nakedness is there, right in the optical middle of my body. I am not really cold but thinking about my camera surrounded by thousands of potential "really good shots," and there they are by the HUNDREDS!!!

7:20am The doctor comes in, he begins asking me questions about my body temperature and complaining about the other green guys using cold stuff to clean my "parts and pieces," no cold stuff he said, otherwise the "area" shrinks. And oh boy it has shrunk. By this time the shrinkage has not showed up only in my always loyal fellow and friends, but also in my brain, my soul, my future, my decision power, my ego... But hey, what do you expect? Four people looking at you as if you were some kind of hybrid between a frog and a dollar bill on a table... the least thing you can do is to panic!!

7:22am A prink, shit it hurts, and then numbness. A second of hissing, a thin dance of smoke, 5 minutes go by, the doctor shows me a tiny little piece of me... a baby!!!... its a boy!!! or it would have been for that matter... a little tiny piece of my right wire is caught in between the metal "shears." I feel some pulling of skin, a stitch here and there. Right side, done!

7:27am Another prink... same process, same smoke, same feeling of missing my camera. Another lift of the doctor's hand... it's a girl... lovely, green-eyed, the other wire is gone. stitch, stitch, stitch

It's over. There is no way back. No looking back. No regret. No wires. I am digital now, I am wireless!!

Two kids it is: Emilio Lobo the Richmonder, and Isabela Delfina, the Cuencana. No more siblings for them but dogs and cats, perhaps an orange fish with blue eyes, or many.

9:00am Eggs, milk, bread, and drugs to ease the aftermath. Pain is beginning to show its face, it is beautiful and enticing but not welcomed.

Time to pay. The computer is broken, we must wait two more hours, welcome to the third world. The total bill is about 450...

Hey, I said to myself, what a great idea, Vacsetours... Bring young male overs, show them around the country, take them through their vasectomies and send them back home... for a fraction of what they would have spent overseas. Help the world stop overpopulation. That is the beauty of the Third World.

I guess that my chances of becoming an active member of the Opus Dei were fried this morning.

Now, back to work, stay put, sit still, get ice, lots of ice cubes for the lap. Everything will be fine. My history has been written.

I have summitted a flatland to answer my self imposed query motivated by a flying muse.

Now, back to the thinking room...to invent a new color.

Start over, stand by protocol, let the underwater flight begin...

rusty, Mar 21 2006 5:51PM

Yikes. I ain't getting near that for a while. We just had our second last week. See pictures here.

Janet, Mar 21 2006 6:37PM

Already able to sit at the computer to communicate the news. Stoic Man!

kristy pennino, Mar 22 2006 1:12PM

i can't believe i read the whole thing!

Ann, Mar 22 2006 2:52PM

Thanks for sharing that. Does having that procedure done make you feel any different about your kids? Do you feel more grateful for them, protective of them, closer to them, etc.?

mark, Mar 22 2006 3:54PM

i have to say, this makes me feel a little uncomfortable. and i have been thinking about why since i first read your account. i guess besides the obvious pain associated with the procedure, i'm not personally ready for that type of the finality and irreversibilty. but i guess that speaks more of my tendency to overthink decisions and their possible ramifications.

i am also curious to hear your answers to ann's questions. has your family outlook changed?