“…not for any reason at all, that’s the challenge.” The doctor held his instrument lovingly, like an old crush.
“Can you hold my balls?” I ask him. I hope the doctor will understand why.
“Your testicles are too small to hold with two hands,” he says, “so I’ll be able to hold my instrument with the other hand.”
I become extremely self-conscious about the size of my testicles. He lifts one into his palm.
“You show signs of early cancer,” he says.
I figured I did. I figured I’d die in about three months from emphysema and COPD. I visit that place in my mind that I go to sometimes. There is a velociraptor riot cop looking into the window of my car. The feathers on his face are brushing against the collar of his uniform. His teeth are long and his eyes are extremely decisive and yet without a sign of thought.
The doctor gives me a hug while still holding one of my testicles. “You look like you need this,” the doctor says. I do need this, I say. I need a fucking hug. I am playing a joke on myself.
The doctor pats my back in circles. “It’s OK, people are allowed to do what you’re doing. It’s OK.”
The doctor says I have three months to live. I nod acceptingly. He needs to go to his office to get a few files on my treatment plan.
When he leaves a nurse comes in after I read an issue of Highlights! The Children’s Magazine. I am placed onto a gurney. I lay there and my skin begins to itch.
Everywhere I end up touching my skin in a pressurized way I see red puffy lumps appear. Exactly where I touch my skin. I notice the folds in the fat of my belly rubbing against the sheet. Red lumps appear there. Everywhere begins to itch and puff my skin up. The nurse says I need a shower.
I enter the shower and remember I have my first day of the senior year of high school tomorrow. I pass out in the shower.
The doctor comes back in and realizes after reading my chart that all of my symptoms are due to a mental illness and no actual cancer. He had hallucinated the physiological evidence that would suggest there was something actually wrong with me. Noticing this his tone becomes different. He wants me to visit a mental hospital.
I feel very alone because I’m young and I look up to other people in the world for guidance. I felt unguided and I did not find love where I hoped I would continue to find it.