Monday, March 19, 2012


"That tissue doesn't look right to me. I want to go ahead with the biopsy,"  says the oral surgeon. I had been referred by my dentist and this wasn't supposed to be happening. I wanted the guy to look in my mouth, make a few muttering sounds and tell me to get out of here, quit wasting his time. But instead I am looking up at that overhead lamp shining through his thinning hair, not a split end in sight and my abdominal muscles curl into themselves. I feel light-headed and sluggish, useless and expendable.

Was twenty years of smoking finally catching up with me?  I had repented, sinner that I was, and have been smokeless since 1995, okay there was that one year of back sliding. Was my reformation too late?  And then there was the fact that I regularly bathe the insides of my mouth with diet Coke and jalapeno-laced food, of course! the tissue will look mutilated.  I wanted to offer him all this information, served up on a platter of logical recourse and he would say, why didn't you say so?  He and the technician would laugh and shake their heads and I would be free, back out in the world of the living and the breathing, all the lovely people unfettered by odd-looking tissue embedded in their inner cheeks.

It's all about attitude say the cancer support groups and my attitude has always sucked. Any intelligent citizen in this country is a hypochondriac, we're saturated with Reader's Digest and AARP articles spouting  "Ten Things Your Doctor Won't Tell You" and those damn YouDocs keep using their cutesy language to convince us that fish oil capsules and cumerin are the formula for eternal life.

I hear the phone ringing and I am staring out the window wondering if I should play Neil Young's Harvest at the beginning of my memorial service or at the end.  Everything is in slow motion as I pick up and after an extremely long minute place that phone back in its cradle. A line comes back from a movie. Woody Allen is stammering and looking pointedly into the camera and he says, "the most beautiful, the most beautiful word in the English language is benign."

1 comment:

MrDaveyGie said...

damn, you had me worried, but that was some good write..."my abdominal muscles curl into themselves. I feel light-headed and sluggish, useless and expendable."