There's nothing like a visit to the gynecologist that makes you
A. aware of your mortality
B. feel like a small brained animal.
It's the waiting room part that closes off a large part of your thinking capacity. You either play solitaire 57 times in a row (like I did)(literally), or read a few old weather beaten issues of Redbook cover to cover, or simply stare off into space exploring your own little private Idaho.
I've been coming here 7 years and no one's ever gotten that right. I'm used to it but still, it would be nice.
That's me, I say gathering my things, thinking: let's get this over with.
Before going into the chamber I get weighed and blood pressured. The girl writes it all down in my chart and I wonder if she adds "Patient did not brush hair today" or "Patient looks down in the dumps, old and odd". Okay you can go into the office, she says, the doctor will be in to see you. Put this on. Back in the day "this" used to be an actual hospital gown which, yes, was open in the back so your buns hung out, but at least covered you. At least allowed you to pretend you were a human being who would, in most other public circumstances, have your private areas covered. But what she hands me now is something that comes from the same factory that makes paper placemats and airplane napkins. It's folded into tenths, an eight inch paper square that covers only a part of me.
I sit there like that for what feels like two or three months. I sit there for such a spell it's no longer humiliating to be completely nude from the waist down with a lobster bib covering my biz. But then the doctor comes in, she says hello; it's not my usual doc but the other one. Mine got called off for surgery. This one tells me to take my shirt and bra off. I refuse to believe she has said what she has, in fact and very clearly, just said. I unclasp my bra and loosen up my shirt a bit so she can just do her thing and still leave me a modicum of decency. Nope. All the way off, she says.
This is the point when I turn off. My interior makes the sound of an industrial plant shutting down before an air raid. I am neither nude nor naked. I am no longer anything. I am just a shell with a piece of paper across my lap. I stare at the ceiling with my mouth opened slightly like a person after a few rounds of shock treatment. I can't speak, move or exhale. She does the thing: jiggle, squeeze, squeeze, pinch and then lets me put my shirt back on. Somehow there's no consolation in knowing this is what you have to do if you want to detect the cancer early, this is what you have to do so can battle the onset of your own death. All I can think is: and this isn't even the worst part.