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There are lots of kidneys in the world

By 

Jesse Barben

D
ear Ashley,
I hope you are well. I didn't mean to steal your kidney. It was an honest-to-goodness accident. I actually thought it was urine. My wife's urine. An honest mistake, like I say.
Let me explain: she's pregnant and has to get tested for gestational diabetes. For 24 hours, every time she had to go to the bathroom she had to first put a little plastic catcher on the toilet seat, go in it, and then pour it into a plastic jug. Then she had to put the jug on ice in a styrofoam cooler and store it in our bathroom and keep adding to it. How much humiliation can one person take?
Driving to the medical complex with a cooler full of your own pee on the passenger seat and then carrying it around was apparently one humiliation too many, so my wife tasked me with taking it into the lab, which is located on the bottom floor of the hospital. It was fate, really. On the way to the lab I stopped to use the hospital bathroom. I set my cooler on the counter by the sink. Somebody came in and used the urinal next to me. He was wearing a uniform, and I know now that he worked for the organ transport service. When I got to the sink, there were two identical coolers there. They both had orange biohazard stickers on them and a bunch of similar labels, and I grabbed the one I thought was mine.
I ran back to the bathroom but the courier was gone. I couldn't have returned it even if I had wanted to. There's not, like, a lost and found for kidneys.
I thought long and hard before keeping it. As it turns out, kidneys are worth a fortune on the “black” market, and as I said earlier, we're expecting a baby and those things cost a mint. I've already lined up a buyer. For the kidney, not the baby.
I saw you on the news and when they said the kidney was donated by your mom, that really made me feel awful. And when they said they're not sure how long it will be until you can get another matching one, that just made me feel even worse.
They're trying to make me out to be a professional organ thief, but it was just a random accident. It was meant to be. What are the odds that I'd be in that particular bathroom at just the right time?
They're trying to say I’m some sort of a monster, but I'm not. I just have a lot of bills. That's why I wanted to write you this letter. I hope you don't think I'm a terrible person, although I know that's asking a lot. Just know that there are lots of kidneys in the world, and you'll find yours soon, just like I found mine. Maybe you can get your mom to give you another one.
Respectfully,
Anonymous

Quiz question:

How did you steal Ashley's kidney?

You thought it was your wife's urine

You thought it was your wife's urine

There was an identical styrofoam cooler next to it

There was an identical styrofoam cooler next to it

All of the above

All of the above

None of the above

None of the above

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Issue 6

published 

February 22, 2017

There are lots of kidneys in the world was written by Jesse Barben, who is an aspiring writer and comedian from Albuquerque, New Mexico. He is a father to two small boys and only regrets becoming a parent a small percentage of the time. He is also an occasional blogger and fast food enthusiast.

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Issue 6

This writing was originally published in Opium Magazine, and is not listed in the Lit.cat archives.
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