Sometimes my wife and my sister gang up on me
It’s usually related to health matters, and they convince me it comes from a place of love.
It’s like that scene with the velociraptors in Jurassic Park. One of them diverts me with a conversation about fruit or tea or fruit tea or world politics, and the other attacks from the side with some lecture about what a man ‘my age’ should be doing.
About a year ago, my wife and I were catsitting for my sister’s in-laws, and I was ranting on about Elon Musk and his Optimus Prime robot slaves or something. Suddenly my sister asked me when I last had a prostate exam.
“There’s no need. They do it with a blood test these days,” I told her confidently. “It’s called a PSA or something.” That sounded about right. As a male with a prostate, I assumed she understood I was an authentic authority on such matters.
Unfortunately, her in-laws are doctors.
“No, they don’t,” she said. “The blood test comes after the finger test because the finger is cheaper as a preliminary procedure.”
Damn it, that seemed to make sense in this late-capitalist society where there is always money involved somewhere. In a socialist society, the blood test would undoubtedly come first, if only to save oneself a fingering — power to the people.
“And you are supposed to get it done every year from the age of forty, I think,” she continued.
Annual fingerings sounded extreme to me. It would be like the doctor and I were a long-term couple who only had dirty anal sex on our anniversary.
I also wondered if — since I was forty-five and had missed out on the five previous annual finger fucks — I would now have to catch up on them.
Would I have to have all five in one go to get them over with? Maybe the doctor would use five fingers instead of one. It would take some lube and a bit of working the sphincter, but I knew it was possible. I watched it happen once in a bootleg Fred Savage documentary called ‘Fred Savage: The Savage Years.’
My sister pointed out that my dad and two of his brothers all had prostate cancer, and one died rapidly from it, so this was no laughing matter. She was right, and I hoped that prostate cancer was one of those things that skipped a generation until I remembered I had a son, and I, instead, hoped that it skipped two generations and that my son was infertile.
“Yes, that will do,” I said out loud.
“What will do?” my wife said.
“Nothing,” I replied.
They forced me to make an appointment there and then.
In the waiting room the following Tuesday, I was sweating like a cash-poor man in a peep show booth.
The reason for such perspiration was that the air conditioner was broken in the waiting room. Also, it was because the waiting room was in the heart of Footscray and populated by people with black eyes and missing teeth, a bunch of five-year-olds drinking Coca-Cola and a raccoon in a cowboy hat with an iPad. It wasn’t because I was about to be anally fingered by Doctor Salman.
I’m lying. I was sweating due to anus fear.
I felt like Tommy the Champ, about to get reamed by Arsehole Taylor in the gaff using polyunsaturated margarine as lube. I considered making a shiv from the copy of Who magazine, March 2001 edition featuring Osama Bin Laden on the waiting room table, but I kept reminding myself this wasn’t prison, and such things were unnecessary.
And, as much as I sat and stared in meditative absorption at the piece of green chewing gum stuck to the chair in front or the single ginger hair attached to the jacket of the one-eared man sat on that very chair, I couldn’t dissolve the aggregates because my mind was playing a VHS of a porno called ‘Doctor Salman Goes South’, and I was a promising new young star in the industry.
“Frank Bird,” came a friendly voice from behind me.
This was it. The time had arrived. I summoned all my courage, attempted to relax my terrified sphincter and wondered if I should have eaten that McMuffin with an extra cheese slice for breakfast. The last thing I wanted was to give Doctor Salman a shitty finger. Still, I needed something to calm my nerves. It was either Sausage McMuffin or Vodka.
As I strolled up to Doctor Salman in slow motion, smiling like a Cheshire paedo, I considered asking if they used Amyl Nitrate to get you in the mood and loosen things up a little. Then I wondered if I should have shaved and bleached my anus. Then I wondered if they use gloves or go bareback.
So many damn thoughts.
Doctor Salman looked at me with the same eyes I had looked at so many women over the years. That’s when it dawned on me.
This was my karma.
All those years, I had pressured girlfriends into letting me in via the tradesman’s entrance. Now I was the one getting pressured, not by Doctor Salman directly, but by the spectre of prostate cancer and the possibility that I might never reach 2000 followers on Medium.
“Okay, drop your pants and bend over, Frank,” Doctor Salman said after a couple of formalities. No foreplay.
“How about some wine or something, Doctor Salman?” I said out loud.
He ignored me. I noticed he was putting a rubber glove on and lubing it up with what I could only assume was water-based lubricant. At least it wasn’t margarine, thank goodness. And, at least he was using protection. That’s something. I couldn’t afford to get pregnant with the cost of bread and milk these days and interest rates and all the —
“OOOF,” I said as he jammed it in without warning.
Then he was moving it around like it’s a game of ‘Where’s Wally?’ for blind people. I wanted to express my displeasure, but I wasn’t sure it was total displeasure.
He eventually found Wally and began massaging it in a way that was a little too nice for my liking. Or was it? Can a human feel pleasure and displeasure simultaneously?
My fear morphed into a deep sense of shame. I remembered convincing all my young cousins to strip naked when we were six. I remembered spying on my sister in the bathroom. I remembered getting a blow job off an eighty-year-old woman when I was drunk at a bingo hall once.
I was living them all over again.
There was another familiar sensation too. What was it? I didn’t like that. It felt too good.
The next thing you know, I’ve shot spunk onto a photo of Doctor Salman’s wife and children.
Doctor Salman pulled his finger out before I finished, and I was left hovering in the middle of space, confused, half-blissful and unable to comprehend what just happened.
He pulled off the glove and washed his hands while I wiped myself down with antiseptic wipes and pulled up my pants. It felt like the silent end of a drunken affair.
“I’m sorry about spunking on your wife and children,” I said.
“Everything seems acceptable in there, Frank,” he said, casually ignoring my comment. “And don’t worry about the ejaculation. It happens in 1 in 8 cases.”
There’s nothing like a good statistic to make a man feel better about spunking on his doctor’s family photo.
“Okay, thanks Doc,” I said, resisting the urge to leave a couple of fifties on his side table. And now I was worrying in a different sense — the same sense that a first-time heroin user is worried about getting addicted.
Because I liked it.
What was it my sister had said? How often should men over forty get tested? I’m pretty sure she said every week. Or was it every day? Every couple of hours?
I began to do the rounds of all the doctors in the area.
Luckily, I don’t have a national health record, so they don’t share information. At first, it was interesting to feel the different techniques of each doctor. Some would be careful, gentle and loving, while some would ram it in there. I liked a bit of both, depending on the day and my mood.
Even more interesting were the different sizes of the fingers and the different temperatures. One doctor had such an enormous, hot finger that I had to turn around to do a visual check. Thankfully it was an overly swollen index finger. Doctor Allan, it turned out, was also an amateur beekeeper.
Things went downhill fast. I knew it was becoming a problem when I started asking Doctors if I could pay them to take the rubber glove off first. Several asked me to leave when I began moving up and down during the exam and moaning with pleasure. The worst thing was when I started wearing lingerie to appointments as a surprise for the doctor.
I was exhibiting classic junkie behaviour and eventually decided to seek help.
I saw a psychologist who referred me to a group for these things.
“My name is Frank, and I’m a — a — err, an analholic?”
The group laughed.
“We don’t say those things here, Frank,” said the leader, a sixty-year-old lawyer called Android. “Just go ahead and tell your story.”
So I did. And I’m okay now. It’s been twenty-seven days since my last medical anal fingering. And I feel good. I feel liberated. I’m like a new person. I tweeted about it the other day, and it got over six thousand likes and well wishes.
But still, it’s not like drinking, where you never do it again. That’s the trouble, you see.
I’m forty-five, with a family history of prostate cancer. To not get my annual prostate exam would just be irresponsible, wouldn’t it?
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