What is it about the city where any time I plan something there I’m sure it’s going to go tits-up? I fret we will be late (even though I leave with adequate time to get there), I’m sure our event tickets won’t be recognized (they always have been), that my wheels with catastrophically fail and somehow I’ll be stranded with no help in sight (never happened). In any case the night before our trip to Seattle for Bodies the Exhibition I couldn’t sleep well at all, having minor anxiety attacks over the 5-hour roundtrip drive and who knows what else.
So this morning at 9:00(ish) Sophie, my brother, and I head up and I stop for coffee and gas and after that we make rather excellent time. Good thing too as parking in the city… meh. We eventually find a space that gives me a postage-sized room to maneuver and after a few minor detours we wave our tickets at some attendants and are allowed into the almost pitch-black rooms and softly lit displays of human anatomy, all plasticized but still somehow gooey looking.
The exhibition itself mostly made me sad. I couldn’t help feeling that no matter how classy they tried to dress it up as “science” basically this was a circus, a money-making enterprise. My brother reported getting hungry while looking at the layers of meat (“like really good jerky”). For me it just bolstered my vegetarianism. It wasn’t disgusting or anything (OK, some things were slightly off-putting, especially the teratoma and the slices of diseased organs) but the flesh of the specimens reminded me of the cats we dissected in highshool anatomy and those, those were gross.
Sophie is solid. She can recognize the shapes of organs, even at the displays that had somehow chemical frozen blood and arterial structures with no surrounding tissues. She was a bit distressed at dead babies but soon moved past it emotionally. I think. I at least get some inkling of what the spleen does through the small placards (“The entire volume of your blood travels through your heart in one minute”) but am glad she didn’t ask much about it because I still don’t quite “get it”.