This initially appeared in my zine The Inner Swine 16(1/2).
The Brain Cloud Cometh
I’m at “That Age”
by Jeff Somers
PIGS, I don’t go to doctors much. Part of this is my Viking heritage (buried deeply in my genetic code, yes, but I am convinced it’s there), which makes me naturally hardy. Part of this is the usual charming male hubris that informs me that I can walk anything off. Lose a limb? Walk it off, hands on your hips, taking deep breaths. Coughed up a lung? Take the bench for an inning, you’ll be fine. Part of it, of course, is my general incompetence and bad memory: I am usually shocked to discover when my last doctor’s appointment was.
Also: How awkward. I mean, I’m terrible at social interaction as it is. Make me naked under a thin hospital gown while another man cops a feel, and my small talk just dries the hell up, trust me.
My infrequent visits to the various doctors we need to stay alive from year to year used to be more or less perfunctory: My old General Practitioner, whom I’d gone to from the age of five until I was about 25, used to tell me to keep the weight off and to never smoke cigarettes, and that was usually the entire content of our conferences. Even past that I usually coasted through examinations: I was either there for a specific reason, burrowing towards a prescription and getting on with my life, or I was there for some sort of routine physical, generally passing with flying colors. Recently, though, while my visits are still not exactly complex or problematic, there’s a new wrinkle cropping up: My advancing age.