Just before Christmas I made my way up north to visit my parents in Wasaga Beach. I daydreamed all the way up Hwy. 10 over the rolling hills and through the fog on a still, listless Winter’s day. I hit the gas, popped a Peter Jackson in my mouth and cranked the volume on Some Girls. It was going to be a nice peaceful Christmas with my Mom & Dad. Just swell thank you very much.
Christmas was nothing short of serene, my parents couldn’t have been more wonderful. Gifts and love and booze rained down up me. But upon arriving back at my apartment in Toronto (okay Etobicoke) I felt a tender swelling or generalized pain in my tuchus. At first I attributed this to my aggressive wiping tendencies; I tend to use a lot of toilet paper and occasionally I cut my rectum because of this. Doesn’t happen often but it can happen to the best of us. My general rule of thumb is to stop wiping when there’s more RED than BROWN. Everyone’s got a game plan, huh?
So there I am standing in my bathroom dumbfounded by this prickly little pain on my bottom that would not go away. I finally resolved to grab a chair, lug it from my living room and drop it in front of the bathroom mirror. Nude from the waist down I hopped up and bent over to give myself the old prison spread. I slowly turned around to face the mirror, my heart racing mad, savoring the last second before I consumed my fate.
What was this ANOMALY before my eyes?
I could hardly believe it; what was this thing, this growth protruding from the right side of the mouth of my donut door? It was a goddamn jelly bean on steroids. I nearly fell off the chair in shock like I was awakened from a deep sleep with a taser. I was convinced that I had anal cancer. What does anal cancer really consist of I began to think. Do I lose all the hair on my ass? I hope they give me some good pain pills. I always go right to the worst case scenario and then slowly try and rationalize backwards. Yes I’ll go to bed tonight and just deal with the anal cancer tomorrow. I mean just LOOK at this thing. It looks like my asshole is farming testicles fa krists sake! I have a third testicle!...Directly on my asshole! What in the fuck is this? I just kept saying Ohmygod-Ohmygod-Ohmygod over and over in my mind. AHHH! Yes just go to sleep and deal with the anal cancer tomorrow. How am I possibly going to sleep tonight? I always knew one day I would get cancer and lucky me I get ANAL cancer. This big, blue bulbous flesh balloon. 'Can I pop it with a nail and hammer?' I wondered as I prodded it with my finger. I thought at any second a tiny alien was going to pop out of it covered in gooey slim with gnashing teeth.
The next morning I confided to a friend that I have a massive growth on the wall of the right side of my anus:
"It's too bad because I read somewhere the ass is the face of the soul of sex. Now I'm definitely not getting any. I can't even thrust. This lump seems pregnant and ready to give birth to who knows what at any moment. It even has this blue to it, matches my eyes." Of course the whole situation is so goddamn funny at the same time we’re both laughing hysterically. I struggled to get out of bed and put on my pants. Another day beckoned along with unforeseen hurdles. Is this how handicap people feel? Adjusting to my new life was going to be difficult. Walking? Walking was fucking excruciating! I made it--although in a belaboured state--to the local Shoppers Drug Mart. I marched in slow rigid steps. My back was hunched and I couldn’t bend my knees. Actually I looked like I made a wrong turn and four black guys showed me the cruel inner city laws of the street. Like I was being raped with a tree trunk.
I waddled up to the pharmacist and just my luck there’s this beautiful young mother with her infant child in line with me; great now I have an audience to my embarrassing little saga. I tell the pharmacist that I think I have a massive external hemorrhoid on my rectum. Or at least that’s what I thought it was studying up online (and the INTRAWEB never lies!).
“I couldn’t even sleep last night, the pain was that bad. I just couldn’t get comfortable.”
“Ohhh you poor thing.” She sounded like my mother and I felt like she really cared about my dilemma. Good pharmacist. She directs me to some kind of ass pads that have witch hazel in them which soothes the itch and disinfects. I don’t have any itch whatsoever--just intense pain. The other product she recommends is the aptly titled Anusol. Anusol? That’s just great. It has a better ring than Preparation H.
Walking home was even more difficult than walking to the pharmacy. I almost expected someone to help me cross the street like I was a sweet old lady. I finally got home and with the excitement of a junkie about to fix I frantically unbuckled my pants and took out one of the round anal pads and rubbed it lovingly around the circumference of my new friend. Shit, this thing had it's own horizon. I squirted out some of the Anusol cream and rubbed it on; that was the gross part where I had to directly massage the hemorrhoid with my finger. It was my new bulbous ballgame peanut appendage.
For those of you who haven’t had a hemorrhoid you get terrible constipation. I couldn’t drop a hot one for the first couple days and it was driving me mental. I had to do something about this. I went to an herbal shop to get some Psyllium fiber. That's what the guy (pharmacist? guru? nut?) recommended. He looked like he knew what he was talking about; I put my faith in him. I bought this huge ziploc bag full of these little fibers that looked a little like wheat. The only goddamn things I buy in ziploc bags are coke and pot. That's what the little pharmacist in my head recommends. Psyllium fiber? Man I'm getting old.
It took until the next day and I finally had one in the chamber. But that walk to the bathroom was like taking my final steps down death row to the electric chair. This goddamn hemorrhoid hurt enough...now I’m going to have to stretch my tender little HOLE and force out the concentrated evil? And disrupt the BEAST?! Oh this cruel world! I’ve never been so scared to go to the bathroom in my whole life. I sat on the bowl and waited for the moment--the moment where the excrement frees itself from bowel tube. How am I going to wipe? Is the hemorrhoid going to burst all over the place? Is it going to get infected with my shit? Oh God why? WHY? Like an airplane nose-diving into the Atlantic I braced myself for impact. Amazingly there was no pain! There IS a God after all! Somehow my rectum expanded and accommodated the hemmorrhoid and the waste. I immediately pushed my head between my legs to check the bowl for blood, puss, unborn alien fetuses. Nothing! And still no pain. Ahh, the silver lining.
The company man that I am I actually made it into work the next day. It was the shortened week after Christmas but before New Year’s so business was slow. There was no hiding my uncomfortable dilemma, I still walked like a robot.
After talking with an older and presumably wiser gentleman at work he told me the sensible thing would be to go to the doctor immeidiately. Since the cream and pad routine was still having no effect I thought what the hell I’ll call the doctor. I made an emergency appointment with the receptionist. I had to explain the reason. I’m not one to pussyfoot around with receptionists so I just blurted out “I have a MASSIVE haemorrhoid!”
“Okay sir come right over you can meet with Dr. Graham,” she said. “Alright see you soon.” It was that easy.
I’m in the waiting room.
The nurse calls me in and I sit in one of the small doctors offices that are lined in a row. More waiting. Finally the doctor comes in and greets me. He sits down at his desk and pulls up my file.
“Last time you were in here it was for fleas?” He took his gaze off the screen and looked at me quizzically.
“Yeah, I stayed over at a friends place and had all these incredibly itchy infected bites when I woke up. They didn’t go away for months. You were on vacation and your replacement, a student, gave me some steroid cream.”
“Huh. Well why’d you come back today?” “I…uhhh…I have this massive growth right on my anus. It‘s big and bulbous and it hurts like hell.”
“Oh boy. You have a Thrombosed Hemorrhoid!” WTF? He can diagnose it just like that? Without even looking at it? Shit. This guys good.
“Alright here’s what we’re going to do: Drop your drawers and hop up here,” he patted the examining table.
“Oh my god, you’re not going to POP it are you?”
“You bet we are. I have to get the nurse to assist me. I’ll be back in a few.” What the fuck just happened? He’s going to pop it AND he has to get someone to help? This thing is so freakishly large it’s a two man job? At first the thought of my doctor and some nurse probing my anal region was unsettling; but then my exhibitionistic impulses took stock of the situation and my terror turned into delight. See, I like to get naked in front of people. Friends, strangers, I don’t discriminate. Somewhere deep inside it warms my heart to have people seeing all my naughty bits dangling about. I want YOU to watch ME tug on my slab of manhood. I want to punish you. I'm the judge and jury and your sentence is to watch me masturbate. But also the reverse is true: I spy on the pretty girls who walk by my apartment; as I watch them go by I’ll tilt my head and squish my face onto the window to get a better view as they disappear beyond the horizon. It’s quite embarrassing when someone is trailing the girl some ten feet and looks up to see my smeared face gawking shamelessly and touching my privates. It’s at times like this I think, ‘yes I am scum’.
Unfortunately there was one little snag in my exhibition plan at the doctor's office--There was going to be a lot of pain. Physical pain doesn’t factor into my exhibitionistic fantasies. Can’t the nurse and doc just sit there and watch me play with myself? I’m sorry I showed you my growth but can we BOTH just leave now unharmed?
There I was splayed out on the examination table with my pants off and undies pulled down to my ankles. I was laying on my side facing the wall while my ass was yawning at the audience.
“So how does this whole procedure work?” I somehow had the foolish notion that he would give me some kind of pill/cream and it would magically disappear like my infected flea bites. There’s nothing to prepare you for the moment right before an anticipated act of medical violence. You have to prepare yourself fast. They don’t sit there and sweet talk you. This isn’t your mother here, this is our strained and overburdened health system so it’s in then out as fast as possible. SWIFT medical justice. They just make you pull your pants down and they get in there quick. You only have a few seconds to ready yourself for this is going to be a new kind of pain and I can only imagine what it will feel like. I looked over my shoulder and saw the doctor putting on gloves and getting a needle ready. “We’re going to inject a freezing agent, the needle will sting a bit after that it's smooth sailing.”
It doesn’t happen in slow motion like the movies where there’s a close up shot of the eye of the needle and the doc squirts a little of the solution to make sure the droppers working. No he just does it. Nike and the Canadian health care both have the same catchphrase. Continuing a trend of helping others in times of need my hands were occupied spreading my own ass cheeks so the nurse didn’t have to. What I thoughtful young man I am.
“Taylor,” she was annoyed, “Move your hands so the doctor can work. Just relax, think of how good it will feel when it’s over.” I politely removed my hands and the nurse took over spreading my cheeks. There was the doctor about to inject his frosty serum and the nurse splaying my cheeks. Now that’s TEAMWORK.
Just as I was thinking about how nice it is to have these two folks staring right into the eye of my storm I felt a horrific sharp stinging pain…
“Ahhh-haaa-ahhhh-haaaa…” I started whimpering. This is what being anally probed by space creatures must be like.
“Don’t worry, it will be over soon.” The nurse reassured me. Surprisingly the pain subsided fast as the freezing agent nullified my nerve endings. He then used a scalpel to make an incision on the hemorrhoid to drain the blood and gore. As if this whole situation wasn’t awkward enough there was an awkward silence for about ten seconds as the doctor quietly pilfered all the evil spirits from my hemorrhoid. “And...we’re done! There was a TON of blood! Biggest one I‘ve ever seen! Biggest Thrombosed Hemorrhoid EVER!” The doctor exclaimed. He was elated. What was I? Some kind of sideshow freak?
“Now isn’t that relieving?” He asked.
“Yeah,” I said getting off the examining table, “Something like relief.” I looked behind at my ass and noticed the nurse lovingly folded some of these little square ass napkins into my butt cheeks and there was quite a lot of blood forming on them. Because I have such a skinny little pre-pubescent boys bottom my cheeks naturally squeezed the ass napkins together in a death grip and they would never fall out. I was worried about bleeding through onto my favourite pair of jeans though. Shit it looked like Iwo Jima in my underwear.
“So what do I have to do now? Keep rubbing on the cream?” I asked, prying the doctors brain for clues. He seems so busy that he can't even offer me some post-burst advice.
“Well after the incision and the amount of blood that came out you should be fine but keep using the cream for the itch. It will take 2-4 weeks to heal.”
“2-4 weeks? That long?”
And with that he was off barrelling down the hallway to assuage the next disaster. I left the office and made my way back to the office. I immediately went into the bathroom to see how much blood had accumulated on my ass napkins. Jesus it looked like I was having my PERIOD. I tossed the bloodied pads into the toilet and it looked like JAWS at a seafood buffet. I folded up some more ass gauze and wedged it between my cheeks. It was OH so difficult to walk. Getting up and sitting down was the worst part.
A co-worker, noticing my distress came up to me and chuckled, “So your new name is now Tayroids okay?”
It was the day of New Years Eve, the last day of the millenium and I was driving home after a half day at work. Today brother they only got HALF my soul. On top of barely being able to walk I am a part time recluse who spends as much time away from humans as possible (some friends excluded). Needless to say I didn’t have any plans this New Years. Me and my mortally wounded hemorrhoid were going to lay around, bleed from the anus, maybe play guitar, load up a bowl in my bong and watch Dick Clark MUMBLE his way through another countdown.
I lay down on my couch and thought what a way to end the decade. Alone and crippled both emotionally and physically; I’m depressed, consumed with anxiety and obsessive compulsive thoughts. What can the next ten years possibly hold? Got to be better than the last ten right? I’m going to battle through with some semblance of dignity. At least that’s what I keep telling myself. What else can a man do except put his head down, hold tight to a few hard truths and journey onwards with the promise that it gets easier, it gets better. There’s reason and purpose out there somewhere. The message will get through somehow no matter how muffled it sounds…
Dick Clark counted down the remaining seconds of the decade, “10.…9.…8.…7.…”