I had just spent ten minutes in a doctor's waiting room staring at titles of leaflets like, BACTERIAL VAGINOSIS: A GUIDE, BARTHOLIN'S CYST AND YOU, and GET GONORRHEA GONE. I felt screaming at her, make it stop burning when I pee! FOR THE LOVE OF GOD! because those leaflets can make a bitch PARANOID AS HELL.
On entering the surgery for a mere facial irritation I was convinced that even by breathing the air of the place I was going to die from something horribly sore and a bit itchy on my DOWN THERES, and it would possibly be passed on from sharing this very seat with somebody sick. I told myself over and over again, one cannot catch herpes from a chair, one cannot catch herpes from a chair...
I was desperate to get away from the bad words with awful (inflamed) connotations and nervous that despite only having a minor bump on my face, Disney was going to tell me I could never have sex again and that I had to have my arms chopped off. Why can't they just put out leaflets like they used to about the dangers of smoking crack or how not to be fat and stupid? Or how not to get fat and stupid from smoking crack?
I put on my Best Supporting Actress Oscar voice. "Well, you see, I've had this thing on my face for about a week now. And it's kind of gross. And I thought it was a spot but it isn't going away. And I'm from England where we have a National Health Service so I put off coming to get it seen because I would rather drink my money than pay for medical attention, even though sometimes after I've drunk I need medical attention. Ha ha. And now it is just sort of upsetting. And I'm in a play that opens this weekend. And, well, to be quite honest I DON'T WANT TO BE UGLY ANYMORE."
The nurse and her Disney looked at me. I could tell she was going to say Oh sweetie you aren't ugly but she glanced at my face and thought better of it. I couldn't fault her honesty.
She took my vitals and chatted shit with me, and then she left promising that the doctor would be with me shortly. Only, when she said shortly what she meant was twenty minutes so I sat in my plastic chair and folded copies of TALLULAH! because quite frankly, I didn't have twenty minutes to wait when I had orders to fill GODDAMMIT. By the time the doctor entered to take a quick look at my face- obviously she was horribly busy and important and couldn't actually talk to me directly- I felt like an autistic child in a bad cop movie.
It was as if my mama's boyfriend had spent the past five years feeling me up for fun and only now, after some other heinous crime, had he been taken in. It was like I was the sole witness to some unthinkable act and so I was being watched unawares getting crafty through two-way glass and people were saying things on the other side like, poor kid. Doesn't stand a chance in hell. At least she has her paper and glue stick to keep her happy. I felt as if after taking a single look at me the doctor was going to return to the other side of the two-way mirror and say fellas- you've got your work cut out for you here. This isn't going to be pretty.
I got diagnosed. "Is it contagious?" I asked her, already knowing the answer in my heart.
"I've treated whole wrestling teams with this before. You know, they all get so close together on those mats, all up in each other's armpits and they lay on top of each other, writhing around and all sweaty..."
"What about my own wrestling team?" I asked, horrified. She looked at me blankly. "You know... boys." She continued to stare. "Can I kiss boys?" I asked her. She giggled, spittle coming out of her mouth some. "Oh! I see. Well, if I were you I'd give it a while before you hit the ring again, if you know what I mean."
I did know what she meant. Good job I have my paper and glue stick to keep me company then. And my ugly.