those sickly kids from elementary school? You know, the ones who
always had cotton balls protruding from their ears and patches
over their glasses?
I was never one of those kids. But through the years Ive
managed to rack up an impressive number of random medical problems.
Ive had my tongue clipped, a blood clot sucked from my septum
and a mole removed from my nether regions. Ive had ringworm,
a broken nose, a broken arm, and three black eyes. Ive had
mono, lice, and a lazy eye. But of all my maladies, the one that
struck me my sophomore year of high school was the most impressive.
my school everyone, with the exception of the freshmen, was required
to have some sort of internship. Mine was a bit of a cop-out:
building sets in my high schools theatre along with other
slackers too lazy to look for something better. As the only girl
around, I bore the brunt of the abuse. One day, my abuse consisted
of getting kicked in the ass over and over and over. I tried to
give it out as good as I got it, but the crew kicked my ass in
every sense of the word. By the end of the day, my backside was
tender to the touch.
it got worse.
few days passed, and the pain grew so intense I could hardly walk.
I moved around like an old lady, hobbling from class to class,
my knees bent and splayed out to either side. Trying to sleep
at night was hard, too. Sleeping on my back was out of the question,
and sleeping on my side was almost as bad. Nights became long
sessions of tossing and turning as I tried to make myself comfortable.
I became convinced that my tailbone was broken, so I made a doctors
appointment. My doctor looked at the purple lump that had blossomed
from my butt crack like some sort of misshapen, misguided tulip
and diagnosed me with a cyst.
was apparently born with some sort of hollow space above my crack
and below my skin. When subjected to prolonged trauma (like getting
repeatedly hit in the bootie), it became infected. The solution,
said my doctor, was long baths, as hot as I could take em,
until the cyst, to use a fancy medical term, exploded. Then, Id
go back to the doctor to get the dang thing drained.
I took baths so hot that they left my skin looking like I was
wearing a pair of transparent red pants. I waited and waited for
my ass to explode, but my cyst stayed stubbornly solid. And then,
during my internship, it happened. I first thought that someone
around me had farted. It seemed like some sort of lingering, sulfuric
cloud was surrounding me. But I realized, as the back of my underwear
got wet, she whod smelt it had dealt it.
I called my dad, who gave me a Valium as we drove to the doctor.
The procedure itself was pretty simple. As I held my dads
hand, the doctor cut into my skin, tender from the infection.
The pus was drained into a pan, and the doctor stuffed a thin
strip of cotton in the now-empty cyst to keep it from becoming
the cotton couldnt stay in there forever. I would, my doctor
told me, have to pull out 1/2" of it every day as the incision
healed. (A brief notea friend once had a cyst like mine
his freshman year of college. But unlike me, he couldnt
remove the cotton by himself, so he enlisted his roommate. I think
thats the sign of true friendshipbeing willing to
pull something from someones ass not once, but day after
day.) I looked like some sort of demented bunny with my new white
tail. I would stand naked in front of my bathrooms full-length
mirror, marveling at the sight of my short little tail. I kind
of liked it, actually. It gave my butt character, setting it apart
from my classmates with their run-of-the-mill asses.
though, the cyst healed. I pulled out the rest of the cotton,
a small scar formed and the purple mark faded. My "butt fungus,"
as my classmates lovingly called it, was gone. Now all that remained
was s a small scar where cotton once protruded.
I miss the tail, actually. It made me feel unique, but its
for the best not to have oneI dont have the insurance
coverage to deal with so much as a paper cut. Still, who knows
what the future may bring. Someday, as my dad pointed out, I could
get the cyst again.