Out Damn Spots

This entry is part 5 of 17 in the series Issue XII: Spring 2013 Prose

By Cecile Ellen Kramer

A monster machine is humming a few feet from where I am sitting on an examining table covered in soft black plastic. There is white paper runner covering the plastic. My pulmonologist has the same table. How many trees are chopped down for this stupid waste of paper. Why not use fabric sheets that can be laundered? The paper gets all wrinkled and torn the minute I lie down on it. I can’t believe this thought has crept into my mind while I am waiting for my spot removal. I had no idea a laser machine has to drink water in order to perform—makes it almost human. I’m waiting for him to ask me what miracle I expect. What if he decides he doesn’t want to remove the unsightly brown spots from my hands? Oh my god! Suppose he finds the purple nail polish on my manicured nails offensive! Does he have the power to send a signal to all laser machines in the U.S.A? “DO NOT REMOVE THIS WOMAN’S SPOTS!” I hope and pray his signals aren’t strong enough to reach across the pond. I can’t decipher laser language. It sounds like a kind of churning, gurgling, noise. Maybe he’s sick and needs a shot or some type of medication before he can pull off his so called magic. His task is to make my damn spots disappear, damn it! They better say their goodbyes and go!

Finally my dermatologist enters holding my chart in her spotless young hands. Her gorgeous, beautifully shaped nails are coated with a clear lacquer. Holding one of my spotted hands in her spotless ones, she tells me that those evil little devils will turn brown and crusty, from scabs and look disgusting. I’ll probably resemble a plague victim until the scabs fall off in a week to ten days. Voila, spotless hands! If not, my dermatologist informs me I can always return for another treatment. I was thinking of removing the spots on my chest but my longtime boyfriend of 42 years just died so why bother. At this point in my life I am not interested in another guy—the love of my life is gone. Big deal if I leave a few spots on my chest. I can save some bucks and adorn myself in an array of fun chest covering extravagant attire. How will anyone know what lies beneath? If I get nostalgic I can always look at old snapshots my guy took me years ago in sexy black lace push-up bra pre spots. Vanity! A price must be paid.

There is another alternative. I could grow old gracefully. Not in this life! Not me mister.

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