At a certain age we lose our self-consciousness about our bodies.  Just yesterday I was having a quiet conversation with the driver of our campus shuttle-bus as we were trundling between campus locations; I don’t know how we got on the subject, but for some reason he mentioned that he has a colonoscopy scheduled for next week.  “I think I’m gonna cancel it,” he said.  “Who cares?  I’m seventy-three. What’s the worst that could happen?”



I tsked.  “You never know what’s in there.”



He shrugged.  “Who cares what’s in there?”



All at once I realized that the girl sitting across the aisle from me – probably a medical student – was staring at both of us with complete incredulty.  



Just because two old men were having a casual conversation about having themselves probed!


I have had for the past few months a stubborn little inflamed patch on one of my fingernails. The doctor confirmed that it was – ew – fungus. “It usually goes away by itself,” he said. “And the medications don’t work all that well. And it doesn’t usually spread from finger to finger, so I wouldn’t worry about it.”



But it’s not terribly attractive.



I’d seen a number of ads on TV for various products, and thought I’d try one, so I went trooping off to CVS.



While there, I realized that lately I’ve been having, um, tummy trouble. The tummy-trouble aisle is quite extensive, and has just about everything you can think of: pills, gadgets, drops – um – other things . . .



I made my selections and took them up to the cheerful smiling girl at the cash register, who knows me by sight because I go there frequently.



And she looked down at my fungus medication, and my tummy-trouble apparatus, and –



I give her credit for professionalism: not once did she flinch. She bagged my items very quickly, however, as if she wanted them out of her sight, and me too.



But her smile never wavered.



She is a tough little cookie.



Thank goodness she didn’t have to call for a price check on anything,



About Loren Williams
Gay, partnered, living in Providence, working at a local university. Loves: books, movies, TV. Comments and recriminations can be sent to futureworld@cox.net.

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