Feel like a good hearty laugh at my expense? Of course you do! Read on…
I spent the beginning of the week in a dark frame of mind. Over the weekend, I discovered a lump under my left breast. (My left, your right). I freaked out, because men can get breast cancer too, right? And there wasn’t a corresponding lump on the other side of my body, so I was good and spooked by this point.
The next couple of days were a murky haze as the clock slowly ticked towards my doctor’s appointment. I couldn’t stop touching the damn thing. At first, I thought it was all in my mind. But the more I touched it, the more I was convinced. It didn’t feel right. It was very, very wrong. Surfing the ‘Net for information just poured virtual fuel on my mental fire.
I started planning for the future. The letters I would need to write to everyone. I was thinking about how my daughter was far too young and she would never remember me years from now. I would just be the funny giant man she used to hug. But she wouldn’t remember my voice or my face or any of the details. I would have to write her letters or record messages for her to have later on.
I kept my spirits up as best I could. I even considered naming the lump Titty the Tumour. Mrs. AKA thought I needed to chill the fuck out.
Strangely, I felt extraordinarily calm and serene. I wouldn’t have to worry again about crappy jobs or stupid people or any of the countless things that slowly erode my patience and sanity on a daily basis. I could just enjoy The Good Things without guilt.
So, on Wednesday, I went to see the Doctor. I started with the timeless preamble that I’m sure everyone starts with when they go to see a Doctor: “I’m sure it’s nothing, but…”
(FACT: Everything before the word “but” in any sentence is a complete and utter LIE!)
“Pop your shirt off and let’s have a look, then.”
He gently cupped my breasts. (Now, THERE’S a sentence I never thought I’d type).
“No, nothing there.”
“Yes, there is! Feel there! There’s nothing like that on the other side!”
He peered over the top of his glasses in the way that only teachers or doctors can, to add a delicious layer of condescension to whatever is about to be said.
“That is your rib.”
“But it’s not like that on the other side!”
“It is your rib. It is just a bit of your body where the rib is curving round. It’s nothing.”
“Great! Thank you!”
I left feeling totally devoid of any shred of embarrassment. I was far too happy for that. There’s a good few years left in me yet.
I celebrated my good fortune by ordering a small stack of CDs for myself with none of the guilt I feel whenever I usually spend even a penny on myself. (I usually feel that all the money I earn should go to my wife and daughter, and that I’m doing something wrong when I buy myself something.) So, I now eagerly await MF Doom’s collaboration with Danger Mouse Mouse and the Mask under the name of Dangerdoom, plus both volumes of the MF Doom and Nas mash-up Nastradoomus.
“Okay, first things fuckin' last!”
Also, saddened to hear of the premature death of Chris Penn this week. An underrated actor who always lived in the shadow of his ridiculously talented older brother Sean, Chris Penn was nevertheless a fine performer who rarely found roles that suited his particular brand of mercurial menace, that delicate knife edge between a smile on his face and a gun in yours. He will always be remembered as Nice Guy Eddie in Reservoir Dogs, but it would be remiss to forget other great moments in the likes of True Romance, At Close Range and Abel Ferrara’s The Funeral.
Currently listening to: The repetitive thwacking whine of dysfunctional air-conditioning.