Autumn is a verb. It has a rhythm all its own. It’s that calendar season when leaves cover the ground, and doctors’ appointments cover the day-planner.
After an interlude of several years, I figured it was time to hie me to the dermatologist. Makes sense. The skin is the largest organ of the body, and mine has been getting larger and folding in on itself of late. And I wanted every fold, pleat, crease, and wrinkle parted and excavated for anything the least bit suspicious, asymmetrical, discolored, or resembling last year’s Halloween candy.
I don’t know why doctors’ appointments fill me with dread. I would actually prefer sliding on razor
As personable as I’d heard this dermatologist is, I entered the office with ragged breath and emitting sulphuric belches. Waiting is nerve wracking.
When she came into the exam room, I saw that she was officious, professional, and diminutive. I liked the diminutive part best. Just how much pain could a petite, middle-age woman inflict anyway?
Apparently, quite a lot. Geez, that woman was packin’ heat!
She asked about my particular areas of concern. And like an idiot, I told her!
She examined the targeted areas with hands that seemed to know more about my anatomy and the lay of the land than I did. I had nothing on but a loin cloth and the radio. I felt like the landing point of a kamikaze suicide mission. She parted the Red Sea, and explored every gully and ravine in the terrain with a GPS, sonar, and a gloved hand.
When she was satisfied that she had “left no Joan unturned,” she headed for her artillery.
Talk about “Carpe Blow Torch!” She seized flame throwers and Roman candles as she began plotting out strategic assault sites that would have made Atilla the Hun jealous. She was a thermonuclear Jedi Master. Ripley looked like a wimp.
Then, nostrils flaring, she cranked up the wattage, as she genuflected at the foot of a full-length portrait of the god Vulcan.
It was Jihad on the bod!
I was panting and whimpering, wishing I could have had an oxen ring piercing my nose instead. I would rather have eaten my weight in rubberized French fries. I was muttering vulgarisms so potent, they subtracted from the sum total of human knowledge. It was scorched earth warfare that left me screeching all “Hindenberg-like,” “OH, THE HUMANITY!!!”
Just as I was ready to “rage quit,” it was all over. She blew the smoke from the double barrel of her oozie, which was engraved “The Blister Whisperer,” and returned it to her holster. Then she carved another notch in her belt, and swaggered up to the bar for a shot of the “hair of the dog that bit me.”
My face was frozen into a kabuki mask, white and stark, and speckled with spittle.
Finally, I was able to unclench my jaws, bloodied but not bowed, and survey the carnage. I watched a globular cluster of pustules appear where there were once only liver spots. They were runny and slippery, like egg whites. I had been transformed into an ambulatory placenta, viscous and gelatinous, so large it had its own zip code. I was a mass of ooze draped over hamburger.
My wounds were so tender, I told everyone not to touch me. But no one seemed to want to. Most people didn’t even want to get near me.
As a humanitarian gesture, I’ve been wearing my haz-mat burqa. It’s my small cubicle of personal privacy, and protects children and small animals from being traumatized. I also binge-guzzle
recreational dirty coke to replace my precious bodily fluids.
Luckily, it’s October, the month of Halloween, and my grandkids think I intentionally look like a gargoyle in drag and wearing a fright wig. I don’t know what I’ll do when it’s November.
I don’t regret my ordeal, but given the choice between a few minutes with Dr. Rambo and listening to three hours of political debates, well, I’d really have to think that one through. Both leave me gasping for air and ready to perform in the all-male Japanese theater.
Actually, the more I think about it, the pustules will eventually heal. End of discussion.