Life magazine on the table, the clock ticks back a second and the door yawns open. The doctor is ready, paper gown in hand. A neat little dress that chills the crack and makes for false modesty. He stands there as the doctor watches him undress. No need to walk out of the room when the physical is about to turn on some country music mash-up elbow deep in cowbells and Olivia Newton-John.
"Your hands feel warmer today, doc," he says, grimacing and thinking of that weekend in Palm Island. A captured Tuesday with a lost wallet. The ride back to the hostel feeling smoother than the bench here covered in tissue paper. He was a tourist. She was local. Together they made it work for the night. And then he couldn't stop itching and scratching out his pubic hair.
"I've been trying a new technique where I tuck my hands between my armpits," replies the doctor. "It's two-fold, I get warm hands and I don't have to try that hard to exert a look of disapproval. But the sweat is a problem. I don't know if it's armpit or palm."
"Neither of those right now. I appreciate your use of the gloves this time. I wouldn't be here if I remembered the latex."
"That's a nice sea otter back there. More like a beaver though." Looking over the man's chart, the doctor pauses, looks again, and pauses. "When was the last time you had a bowel movement?"
"I don't remember. It's been so long. Feels like I've been eating grass sods and packing up for the winter back there. Last time I remember I heard someone braining their kid. It was horrible."
"I'm fairly confident that was you. Please don't strain too hard next time you go. You should try rocking back and forth on the toilet next time, it may help move those stools through the rest of the colon. Helps relieve the tension."
"I understand," he says while putting on his pants, "that other people usually take their Quick-Eze from the other end. I tried it with a cup of water, but I kept throwing it back out. I figured if it was going to get in me, there's more than one door."
"That's what she... but really, Adrian, I don't know if you're joking or if you're not," laments the doctor. "Either way, so long as you don't kill yourself, I'm always happy to see you walk through those doors. Fully covered of course."
Written on Friday, 2 December 2011