My Life

Friday Night Clam Bake – #34: Icy Torches, Shiny Happy People and Cave Dwelling

Once upon a time, I went to the dermatologist.

Actually, that time was just this morning. My bad. But it’s been a very trying day, and let’s just say that a variety of factors have contributed to my mind not being continually focused on important things like timelines, reality, and the presentation-status of my personal undergarments, should I find myself in a situation wherein said undergarments might be reviewed by rescue, medical and/or psychological personnel.

In our formative years, Momma said you should always have clean underwear, with no holes.

Actually, she used the word “panties”, and she was generally talking to one of my sisters when she said such. Perhaps she already sensed that said sister would prove rather challenging in the upcoming life-decisions of her teenage years, and Mom felt it best to at least provide fashion tips concerning the gathering storm. Mom’s concern for me? Nada. I was such a meek little child that they were stunned when I would leave the house of my own accord. No undergarment issues there.

Did I warn you that my mind is wandering? I think I did. So, let’s get to the why.

I couldn’t sleep at all last night. (“Tossin’ and Turnin’”) This is not unusual for me, as I’ve babbled about such previously, perhaps much more so than any of you care to hear. (So what if you couldn’t sleep? The world is imploding for a number of very political reasons that have nothing to do with your slumber satisfaction. Deal with it.)

I read a book until 3AM, hoping for drowsiness. That didn’t happen, so I clicked off the Kindle and tried to empty my mind, prone in the darkness. As if often the case, the emptying did not occur. I began to reflect, on this and that and whatnot, whilst the clock on my phone blipped past 4 and then 5 and then 6. At this point, there’s a chance that I may have drifted, but there are no witnesses to verify such, unless you count the glass of water that I must have on the nightstand, but he’s not talking.

At 7AM, the stray cats behind the house decided it was the perfect time to start screaming and (based on the sound of it) killing each other with machetes, or at least some carefully-orchestrated razor-clawed paw swipes. Understandably, my delicate sleep-process was encumbered by this “Jets and Sharks” development, so I stumbled out the back door in my hastily-adorned jammy pants and broke up the rumble in the jungle. There was a tense moment when the cats (it seemed like there were 400 of them, but probably only three) almost turned on me, but something in my bloodshot eyes advised them that they should probably run like hell. They did.

At 7:10AM I was prone and despondent again. At 7:15, Partner leapt out of his own bed and proceeded to begin his work day, trying to be quiet but not really succeeding because he’s moving around and that results in noise, however minimal. (Yes, we sleep in separate rooms. It became necessary years ago; otherwise, we would have long since killed each other due to our mutual affinity for hellacious snoring and bruise-causing mattress-flopping. You do what you can to make a relationship work, yes?) I think I cried a little bit out of sheer frustration at this point. It wouldn’t be the first time I greeted another dawn with tears, the result of a persistence in hope that mankind will do the right thing but continually seeing evidence that much of mankind is simply not capable of such. Feel familiar?

At 9AM, I gave up the fight and abandoned my pointless bed, dissatisfied. (“Why you do this to me, Dimi?”) I’m retired, so I normally could have chased the elusive bouncing sheep for hours still, but I actually had to be somewhere in a bit. And that somewhere struck fear in my heart, a place of torment and anguish that just might explain my wide-eyed night.

It was Dermatologist Day. [Cue dramatic music and a collective gasp from the viewing audience. There may have been some crucifix-clutching.]

Unlike some folks, I don’t go to the dermatologist for acne-prevention or facelifts. (“Is that Kenny Rogers? He looks like a boiled apricot, albeit a perpetually happy one.” And yes, I know he’s gone now, but I’m not being mean. I’m just reporting the facts. Sometimes you should just say no.) I go because I have a propensity for skin cancer, the result of spending so many of my younger years frolicking in the sun without any concern for, or knowledge of, sunscreen. And let’s be honest, most of us who came of age in the 1960s and 1970s had no clue. Hell, we would swathe ourselves in baby oil, causing even more damage. It’s easy to point fingers, but it was simply the time and place.

Ergo, my propensity. I wised-up to the not-good by my early thirties, but the damage was done. I haven’t sun-bathed in decades, nor do I frolic in the sun without slathering myself in SPF 125 concoctions. (I even soak my hair with the ministrations, which makes me look rather sweaty and swarthy due to my Italian heritage, and I kind of feel rather sexy, but I’m sure this is just one of my many self-delusions.) Still, the damage was done and the long-term results continue to present themselves, which is why I go to the dermatologist every six months, more often if he finds something more-concerning than usual. And he always finds something.

Today’s visit was a typical experience.

I arrived early, which is a thing with me, even though I know full well that “appointment times” and “actual times” do not necessarily agree when it comes to medical consultations. The check-in hostess handed me a form to fill out, so I took such and wandered off to a vacant couch in the waiting room, not even bothering to wonder why there was yet another form since I’m basically here every other day. The form was rather primitive in nature, looking like it had been mimeographed like they used to do back in the day. (Raise your hand if you remember mimeographing and how those pages smelled.)

Whist I filled out the form (repeat questions that I had answered many times before; what was the point of this exercise?), I also studied the other occupants in the waiting room. There was one woman off to the right who gave the impression that she was married to her phone and could not possibly put it down. Off to the left was an ancient man who appeared to be on life support, what with the industrial-strength walker positioned in from of him, replete with oxygen tank. (And he wasn’t wearing a mask, praise be to Trump. Not.) And directly in front of me was a cowboy that I knew well.

Not personally, of course, but he had that look that I recognized from my days in Oklahoma. Gruff exterior, probably never speaks unless absolutely necessary, and is much more comfortable with animals instead of people. (Trust, I knew many of them, even a few in the biblical sense.) He was, maybe, a few years older than me, but roughly the same age.

I finished my form before the rest of them, despite being the last to arrive. I turned in my paperwork and returned to my couch, whipping out my phone to practice my Spanish. (Duolingo!) Cowboy finished his scribbling shortly after, turned in his own form, and then walked past where he had been sitting and sat on the same couch as me, despite the fact that there were plenty of other places to sit.

I also recognized this from my days in Oklahoma, wherein we gays had to be hidden, if we wanted to live. There was a very subtle subtext to how we went through life and acknowledged our own. (Gaydar is real, folks. True story. Sometimes you just know.) He didn’t hit on me or any of that mess, but it was his way of saying “hey”. And I said “hey” back, even though neither of us ever said a word. We both knew of the time when discretion was the better part of survival.

This was the highlight of my day, in a nostalgic way, an intricate dance from yesteryear.

Not a highlight? When the door to the inner sanctum opened and a guy called my name. My turn at the rodeo. I followed the guy (who didn’t take my temperature, what’s up with that missing protocol that we’re actually accustomed to by now?) as he led me to Exam Room Number 3. “Are you just here for a skin check?” Yes, I was. “Great. Take off your shirt and the doctor will be with you in a moment.”

I knew that “in a moment”, in office-visit speak, meant that the doctor would most likely not make it to Exam Room Number 3 until I was a dried-up husk of nothingness, so I again whipped out my phone (ignoring the “please turn off your cellphone” sign, full confession) and kicked off another Spanish lesson. Surprisingly, I had only answered two of the vocabulary-review questions when the door was flung open and the doctor graced me with his presence, trailed by an assistant that I remembered from my last visit, one who had said to me at the end of said visit, “Good luck with your colonoscopy tomorrow!”

Long story, not enough time.

Doctor: “So, how are you feeling?”

Me, inner voice: “I won’t know until you do the mole patrol”. Outer voice: “Good, as far as I know.”

Doctor: “Great! Let’s see what we’ve got.”

And thusly the search-and-seizure mission began.

I pointed out a spot on my left arm that I knew would gain his interest. (You learn these things after repeat visits.) There was also a slightly-raised thing on my back that I couldn’t see but could feel, so I wasn’t sure. Oh, and I think you might want to check this spot on my forehead.

His analysis? The spot on the arm had to go, potential future issue. (Knew it!) The thing on your back is just old age, because you’re old. And we should probably do something about that forehead spot. (“Two out of three ain’t bad.”)

The doctor then nodded to his assistant, with said assistant then whipping out the demonic Blow Torch of Misery. I hate that thing, even though I appreciate the fact that it cauterizes naughty bits that I don’t want on my body anymore. (Some of you know this blow-torch well, having been there, done that.) It looks like one of those butane-based cannisters that conspiracy-believing survivalists use in the remote forests of Oregon before they are arrested by the FBI for insurrection against the government.) I’m not a fan.

The doctor is a fan. He scorched the thing on my left arm, initiating that familiar, cold-hot feeling of burning ice shards being shoved into my flesh. He skipped over the thing on my back. (“You’re old, did I mention that?”) Then he focused on the spot on my forehead, but he paused. “Are you doing anything this weekend where you don’t want to appear scabby?”

Well, now. That’s a query that you don’t often hear. “Um, no. But we have company coming next weekend.”

Doctor: “Perfect. Everything will fall off by then.” He ice-blasted the spot, then paused. “You know, there are a few other areas on your ancient forehead that might become an issue. Let’s just take care of it all.”

More blasting, all along my hairline. In case I haven’t made it clear, the blasting, even a single incident, is not pleasing in any way. It hurts. By the time he was done navigating my forehead periphery, I was a quivering mass of jelly, ready to sign over my entire retirement revenue stream if he would just stop.

He stopped. “Well, then. I think we’ve tidied things up. See you in six months!” And then he was gone. The assistant followed him out, but felt compelled to say something, anything, before he did so. It was not as exciting as “Good luck on the colonoscopy!”, but a rather mundane “you might not want to leave the house for a few days”.

Oh, I didn’t plan on it. The burning sensations across my forehead made it very clear that I wasn’t going to be anywhere near presentable for the immediate future, not until the point when “everything had fallen off”, whatever that questionable development might entail.

I raced home, because it was clear that my visage would soon cause screaming children to seek immediate therapy and I’d best get out of public view as soon as possible. I clattered through the backdoor of the house and patiently waited for Partner to finish the latest in an unending stream of conference calls. When he did so, I launched: “You can’t tell right now, but in a few hours I’m going to look like Kenny Rogers. I can’t deal with it, so I’m just going to hide in a cave until I no longer terrify an innocent lass who is just trying to sell us Girl Scout cookies so she can go to summer camp.” I then whipped out my wallet and placed some money on the kitchen table. “Just in case I need something during my seclusion and bereavement.”

Partner understood, completely. He knows the coda of the subtle subtext, the lingering effects of living through a time when it was all about discretion and subversion and survival, a time when a quiet cowboy sat next to you on a couch and never said a word, but you knew. You just knew.


Whoops, it almost slipped my scattered mind that I actually intended to share a music video with this bit, ergo the “shiny happy people” reference in the title. So, let’s do that, shall we?

And since I’ve brought up R.E.M., here’s another cut from the same album. (By the way, that “Out of Time” album is terrific, in case you haven’t given it a listen. It’s the one that propelled the band from moderate success into superstars.) I actually like this second cut better than the first, as the song seems genuinely happy as opposed to the intentionally pseudo-perkiness of “Shiny Happy”. (The brief section where the chorus swells, accompanied by just a gentle tambourine? Perfect.) Enjoy.

P.S. Bonus points if you can name the source of the “Dimi” movie quote. In this case, I purposely left the title out of the tags to make things more interesting…

P.P.S. The opening shot is a detail from one of my masks, one that hints of cowboys and bandanas. It had to be done, yes?

41 replies »

  1. I see a few of the older people at nudist resorts with backs that look like pizzas, what with growths and discolorations, and it reminds me that early man did not live long enough for skin cancer to be a big problem. We didn’t evolve a lot of lifetime resistance to UV radiation. These people grew up in the “no sunscreen” days and never left them.

    The people who left the equatorial regions lost most of heir melanin when they started inhabiting more northerly climes. It does not do to expose skin designed for Sweden to subtropical levels of sunlight. I am a firm believer in sunscreen at all ages. However I am also a firm believer that Vitamin D is a good thing and it is possible to overdo UV protection. Moderation in all things.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Excellent points, Fred. The sun can be our friend (Vitamin D!) but it can also be our enemy, and everything is always about moderation.

      The hardest thing to deal with is the fact that I can do little to stop the results of damage that was done a long time ago. I’ve essentially avoided the sun for thirty years, but it’s too late. I’ve been going to the same dermatologist for quite a while now, and initially he was a bit aggressive with the shaming, constantly making remarks that if I had just been slathered in high-SPF concoctions since I shot out of the birth canal, this wouldn’t be happening. I finally had a “come to Jesus” meeting with him and said, look, we didn’t know squat back then (he’s younger than me), and as soon as I got the right intel I stopped being bad. How about we focus on what we can do now and not what I didn’t do then?

      He’s been great ever since. I know what to point out, he knows what to zap or cut, and we get through it without any murmured commentary…

      Liked by 1 person

      • That’s a really deep concept you just brought up and it applies to a lot of things. People focus so much on the past when it is all just water under the bridge. As long as you are trying to do the right thing now, focusing on the past only poisons the present. It is what it is and not all the woulda-shoulda-coulda is going to change what you face today in the slightest.

        But it is human nature to berate others for their past. If your doc had been young when we were young, he would understand. Never judge the past by the standards of the present.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I remember when looking like Kenny Rogers was considered a good thing, not to mention mimeographed handouts, sunbathing, and stray cats strutting their Jet and Shark moves. And warnings about clean underwear. Did you hear that someone is selling Michael Jordan’s old underwear? J.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Why would anyone want Michael Jordan’s… no, I’m not even going to give that anymore thought… 😉

      Yes, Kenny Rogers was rather attractive in his natural state, which makes the facelift decision even more mystifying. Then again, I’m not him, nor do I know his personal demons. Perhaps none of us are ever truly satisfied with who we are. That possibility would certainly explain much of world history…

      Random but mildly-related pondering: I wonder if anyone has considered remaking “West Side Story” with cats? It could be fun. And it seems like there was another feline musical that was a mild hit on Broadway. I can’t remember the name of it right now… hang on, it’ll come to me…


      • A ten-minute YouTube video might do justice to a feline remake of West Side Story… I’m not sure it would survive a two hour feature film. Although we once had a cat who perfectly captured the facial expression of Natalie Wood in the final scene of West Side Story.
        And I think I know what other musical you have in mind. It’s on the tip of my tongue… no, wait, that’s just a furball… J.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. That damn propensity for skin cancer. I know it well. Well enough that I actually had to have a sizeable chunk taken out of my back. Summers spent on an air mattress on the lake are the blame for what my dermatologist calls my mine field. Yup that era. I have the scars and can tell the war stories but luckily my face has been clear. The result of always laying on my stomach with my legs dangling so I could kick. On a positive note, it isn’t every day that you get to be noticed by a cowboy. I have no stories to compete with that unless a Willie and Whalen fan counts. Enjoyed this one.

    Liked by 1 person

    • My dermatologist is also rather intrigued with my back. Any time he’s behind me during the mole patrol, he’s always babbling away about this and that finding whilst his assistant punches frenetically on his handheld tablet. Luckily (so far) there has been a minimum of excavation-worthy discoveries in that location, but the word on the street is that my back will not win any awards for dewy smoothness.

      The encounter with the cowboy was quite nice. Innocent, platonic, nostalgic. Good stuff.

      I’m glad you enjoyed this one, because it’s the result of my favorite writing method, and not something forced or planned. I simply sat down with the vague goal of writing about my day, with no destination or plot points in mind, simply letting my mind go where it may…

      Liked by 1 person

    • Ah, those wretched spots. We don’t want to see them, but we recognize them for what they might be when we do. On the one hand, I’m relieved when The Doc deems them nothing but age progression. On the other hand, I don’t like being reminded that my age is progressing…

      I’m glad you enjoyed the screaming strays, because I certainly didn’t. Nor did any of my neighbors who happened to glance out their window whilst I was running half-naked to break up the gang-fight between The Slashing Claws and the Hissing Hooligans… 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Sunblock in the 60s? Forget that! And baby oil? C’mon that’s greasy kids stuff- you wanna tan, you reach for the coconut oil, slap on, slither down and sizzle.
    Nada here for knowing the ‘Dimi’ reference.
    You say mimeograph, I say Gestetner- but the aroma stays the the same.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh, there was coconut oil around back then, but that was only for my “fancy” friends. Baby oil was much cheaper, and there was always a bottle of it somewhere around, since producing babies was one of the few careers that women were allowed in Oklahoma at that time.

      I had never heard of this Gestetner thing until your comment, so naturally I went a-googling. Turns out, according to my Wikipedia clicks, that “mimeograph” is a collective term for duplicating machines that use some form of stencil, with a Gestetner being one example of such. Huh. Didn’t know. Thank you, once again, for presenting me with an opportunity to grow intellectually and spiritually… 😉

      Liked by 1 person

      • Sorry, I/we here use Gestetner in the same way as BandAid for plaster, Hoover for vacuum, Tupperware for (horrendously expensive) snap lid plasticware. But that Purple Hazy smell is nostalgia 101. Not saying good nostalgia, it being school related and all…
        I’ll just ease a comment in your reply to Clive. REM put out great stuff, not pop, much better than pop music has a right to be. Pop and ‘Articulate’ don’t often sit comfortably together, but here they do. Five songs, in no particular order; The End Of The World As We Know It, Losing My Religion, Everybody Hurts-(because who hasn’t been there?) New Test Leper, Don’t Go Back To Rockville.
        Hope the healing process is painless and scarless.

        Liked by 1 person

        • That’s an admirable five-song selection there, so I can’t really quibble with it.

          R.E.M. has been one of my favorite bands since college. I talked about their passion for years to anyone who would listen. At the same time, I was a bit forlorn when they became huge. It was almost as if I was losing a delicious secret that everyone could now plunder…

          Liked by 1 person

  5. I hope you’re soon able to leave the house without frightening the local children. Have you considered auditioning for a remake of The Elephant Man in the meantime? It’s Sunday morning here – a bit late catching up, sorry – but it was great to start my day with the gorgeous Kate Pierson leaping around (yes, I know). I’m with you on the Out Of Time album and your preference for the second song – the band were with you on that, too, as they hated Shiny Happy People and refused to play it live.

    No idea on the movie reference – not my area!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Trust, a directive to NOT leave the house is rather satisfying to me. Most people are annoying, so I fully embrace a mandate to avoid them.

      Oblique trivia reference: The Elephant Man played a critical role in one season of “Ripper Street”, a British production. I rather enjoyed that series. Have you had the chance to see such?

      Agreed, Kate Pierson is gorgeous. I’ve always found her rather fetching, in a platonic way. I’m a devoted fan of the band, even the obscure songs that were not really necessary, and there were a lot of those. Of course, I was in college when they were gaining serious traction with the college crowds, so it’s another “time and place” kind of thing with me.

      Curious: What’s your favorite R.E.M. song? Hard for me to choose, but I will admit that I give (unfair?) weight to the “Murmur” tracks. That album came out just as I was graduating high school, trying to find my way, and it really spoke to me, with creativity, hope and passion. (“Talk about the…”)

      Liked by 2 people

      • I can relate to that!

        I’ve never watched Ripper Street, so it seems I may have missed out.

        I’m pleased you agree on the lovely Kate. As she is in a same sex marriage I’m not sure what that says about either of us!

        So many great R.E.M. songs to choose from! I tend towards their earlier albums too, so if pushed I’d go for Cuyahoga, which I think is a little masterpiece, with a serious message – as lots of good songs are.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. “Wait for things to fall off” is not usually what I want to hear from my doctor, but glad all went well. Of course now I’m going to be singing West Side Story rumble music in my head all day… so thanks for that.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m certainly ready for “things to fall off”, as right now my forehead looks like somebody played Chopsticks with a meat cleaver on my forehead. Not impressed.

      There’s nothing wrong with singing “West Side Story” rumble music in your head. Accept and embrace.

      Trivia: In my formative years (maybe I was twelve; somewhere in there) my father, in one of his rare attempts to connect with me and my embarrassing artistic tendencies, agreed to watch “West Side Story” with me, as it was airing on then-new HBO. Not sure if you recall, but in the full version of the film, there’s an extended (10-minutes?) overture as the camera slowly moves in on NYC before the movie truly begins. Toward the end of said overture, my father turned to me and said something along the lines of “Is there singing in this? Because I don’t like singing. Or dancing.”

      Suffice it to say that there was no parental bonding when it came to that movie…


  7. Oh my Lucy! We must be kin! Back when I had a family, there were six of us. Four girls and two boys. I didn’t have time to be politically or gender correct, so naturally, we all wore PANTIES! Not much was said about it until we were hosting a few couples at our house and somehow the subject of laundry came up. I mentioned the time I dyed all of the ex’s “panties” pink. There were a few pushed back chairs, a few good-natured gasps, a harsh look from you know who, but I was unapologetic. Another thing…now this man wore two or three thousand dollar suits to work, and panties that looked like they were dug out of a landfill somewhere. Try as I might, I could not get those panties away from him. I tried the “what if Jesus comes,” or “what if you have a wreck and the paramedics see those holy panties,” but nothing worked. What is it about you boys that love ragged panties?
    Now, I didn’t have to look up the “why do you do this to me, Dimi.” I knew straightaway where it came from. When my children were tiny tots, I used to use iwhen I was exasperated, accent and all. As they grew, they started using it, but it morphed into “why you do this to me, Dempi?”

    Liked by 1 person

    • Personally, I’m not a fan of ragged panties. Then again, I’m not a fan of panties, period. I’m responsible enough to realize that I should wear them when necessary, but I’d much rather be comfortable whenever I can. Those panties are binding and annoying. Overshare? Not the first time I’ve been accused of such.

      On a more serious note, I would love it if we could move beyond anything being gender-based. What’s the point in that, anymore? It doesn’t serve any purpose to say that any one person should do something or wear something or think something based on their gender. We shouldn’t have assigned roles. If it makes you happy and it doesn’t adversely affect anyone else, embrace yourself and be yourself. To me, it’s a fundamental right of simply being human. Sadly, too many people make it their business to regulate others, when it’s really none of their business, at all…

      Bonus points for winning “The Exorcist” challenge. But I think I might steal the “Dempi” angle, as I kind of like that variation…

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Sympathies on the ‘hot’ ice of burny-ness. Owie. Why did that doctor or his obsequious assistant offer pain meds? If they took off several ‘iffy’ spots on your forehead, you were bound to get a world-class headache out of the mess. I’ve been on the receiving end of such torture cheesily dressed up as ‘treatment’ when I had warts removed from both hands, not thinking about the pain. By half way home I could barely tolerate touching the steering wheel. Hind sight is often 20/20. I’ve had one ‘serious’ spot on the top of my skull removed (Mohs surgery because it came back O_o ) That one required a two week plus wearing of a bandana around my head to cover the gaping bald spot. I’ve also had three or four ‘suspicious’ bits taken off both arms and there are more now (or they are those horrid age spots that trumpet to the world that yes, the sporter of said spot is OLD). Dang it! I hope you heal quickly and that more quiet moments come your way, sitting in companionable silence because no words are necessary.

    Liked by 1 person

    • To be fair, some folks would have insisted on some form of pre-op painkiller, but I’m used to the drill (literally and figuratively) by now. It’s not pleasant and I’m not a fan, but the pain is brief and generally, quickly evaporates. It’s nothing like dental work, wherein the discomfort increases after one has left the dentist chair and the numbing-shot wears off. And really, if the doc finds something troubling on my body, I’d much rather it be excised than remain on my body. Brief bit of not good as opposed to a potentially long-run of not good should nothing be done about the discoveries.

      As for the companionable silence, I am a BIG fan of that. If any professional advises me to stay at home and not leave the house, I’m all over it. More time to read a book or binge-watch delightful but obscure TV series, less time to deal with stupid people…


  9. Sorry to hear about your insomnia episode. Actually I couldn’t fall sleep last night either and it’s almost 5AM when I dozed off. Hate insomnia as passionately as you do. Wish you get a good sleep tonight to make amend.
    I heard about the skin issue when in graduate school. A fellow classmate from Ohio had to go to a skin doctor to a little operation. I was a little surprised since he’s only about 30 years old and looked very normal. I guess there’s a reason why the Texas cowboy hat is so popular. Wish you all the speedy recovery from such an ordeal. By the way, do people in the clinic wear masks? People here don’t wear masks anymore and I want to tell them they should but haven’t the courage to do so.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Insomnia is terrible. The folks who can easily drift off within seconds of climbing into bed just don’t understand how frustrating it can be.

      It’s interesting how two people can do the same thing (like expose themselves to the sun without protection) but only one of them will suffer the consequences, sometimes dramatically, sometimes much sooner than expected. You never know, which is why each of us should take professional advisements seriously. You never know what’s going to happen.

      Speaking of advisements, the folks who work at this dermatology clinic don’t mess around. If a patient refuses to wear a mask, they are quickly sent out the door. I just wish everyone would take things just as seriously. Because, again, you never know…


  10. I love everything about this from the Cowboy to the Exorcist and REM!!

    Being a freckley, moley person who suffered through many, many 2nd degree sunburns (Noxzema smeared everywhere) I can commiserate on the iffies. So far all my doc has commented on is to ask if I’ve lost a lot of weight while he was doing my breast exam☹ The girls ain’t as perky as they once were🤷🏼‍♀️

    I home your confinement is short, and nothing important falls off😉💕

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you, Angie. I really enjoyed writing this one, especially since I sat down with no real intention in mind and scribbled the whole mess in one take, no editing. I was rather pleased with the result, if you’ll excuse the mild boasting. Lately, I’ve been a bit discouraged with the reactions to some of my posts. I throw out something really heartfelt and honest, and I get hardly any reaction. I throw out something whimsical and silly, and I get 100 comments. So your opening comment warms my heart. Then again, you get me, when so many people don’t…

      End of self-pity ruminations, at least for now.

      Falling-Off Update: So far, nothing critical has left my body, to my knowledge, and I’m good with that. Fingers crossed… 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Oh! So you’re a “free-baller!” I was never a hippie, but grew up in the time of pot, free love, burning bras and free-ballers. I never even owned a pair of blue jeans until I was 21, and they were a gift. Many a time, I saw the anguished look and heard the blood-curdling screams as a guy came out of the restroom, having caught his hooter in his zipper.
    One thing I’ve never understood about mens’ panties is that pee-hole. I never saw it used one time…but then, it’s not like I knew a plethora of men in that intimate way. LOLOL

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I did not get on the program until I was about 40 years old and my mother was having skin cancer excisions and my dad was doing the same but had some more serious melanomas. For me any skin screen visit that can be resolved without a return visit for MOHs surgery is a good one! At least I look good in the photos of my youth where my skin is tan and my hair is streaked blond! Much better looking than the pasty white photos of my entire body that the Skin Surgery Center keeps on file for comparison purposes. Luckily, I am not famous enough to worry that they will be leaked.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I hear you completely on this. I’m Italian (among other things) so, in my ignorant youth, a few days in the sizzling sun would leave me with a burnished glow that (at least in my mind) made me rather fetching. Now, after several decades of being a hermit, sun-wise, I have to be careful where I take a nap, lest the startling whiteness of my skin leads passers-by to determine that I surely must be dead and therefore must be buried before sunrise…


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