(first week of December, 2008)
I am nothing and nobody. Befittingly, I have the same.
Michael Myers, Leatherface, Jason Voorhees, Freddy Krueger stabbing, sawing, slicing my insides. Ask them calmly, rationally, to stop. Then plead.
"Unbuckle your pants and lay on your stomach," she says, back turned to me.
"You're not gonna do anything nasty, are you?"
Can't see her kisser, but know it's smiling as she says no.
"Damn. I was hoping."
She chuckles. I lay down, face in the pillow with a hole in it, finagling IV in back of hand over my head. While, unannounced, a young Latino intern yanks pants and underwear down to just below my cheeks.
(Want to ask if he likes what he sees, but how could he not? My tight little ass being one of my few fine physical features.)
As if on cue, four men, ostensibly qualified, come in the tiny, already crowded room, talking loudly about day's overbooking of patients.
"Ok guys, let's knock these out," says one. He calls me Pedro and thinks I'm sleeping when I don't answer.
"Wrong guy, Rocky," I say.
"Oh. My apologies, Boss. Wrong file."
"I'm sure it happens all the time," I reply.
"Eat or drink anything today, Boss?" It is the first of six times he will ask this question in the next two and a half minutes.
"Toothpaste," I answer the first time. The rest I say no.
Three minutes later, the syringe sinks in. First deep, then deeper. Then deeper still. Pressure makes my hands clench, stomach tighten, eyes tear. H o l d b r e a t h e s t i l l s i l e n t. ("It's like having three layers of tissue paper and the shot has to go into the second," primary explained months before.)
This happens four times.
Throughout, conversation of doc's new Bose sound system continues, so that when it's over, I have no idea.
As afterthought some minutes later, Dr. Balboa says, "You can leave anytime, Boss. We got lots of people to see today."
I haul ass without a word. Thinking this process will always be an indignity, no matter location or shot giver.
Last time, different dick, er, doc (heh…dick doc dick doc), treated self to portly Subway sandwich (despite bleeding ulcer) and two big cookies. This time, I just want to get home – "home" – read my book, not think about Lauren or death or disease or fact I don't have kids, then sleep. Succeed only in latter, but not by much.
Percocet masks sharp sting in back, but not heart and later on I'll cry cuz I miss making love.