Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Being a Public Nuisance

So, on top of the new job, I am now the proud owner of lower ears. I received two things yesterday: a new haircut, and a shot.

I had to be talked into the haircut. I don't mind haircuts. Except for the fact that I never like the outcome -- which is probably more the result of me being terribly down on myself -- they're not terrible experiences. My aunt, my mother, she who is so dear to me all talked me into getting a shorter haircut that can be gelled into the "messy" look. Since that was three votes from three women I respect highly, I caved. They think it looks fantastic, so I'll take their word for it. Anyway, haircuts = not a big deal. Sitting in a chair while someone hacks off the fluffy curls that I get when I let my hair grow long isn't painful, and actually sometimes results in some nice conversations.

On the flip side, needles are the devil in every way. Shots are an outdated procedure, and a large source of physical and mental torture, in this age when we can land men on the moon and carry an entire library of books on a device about the size of a cigarette box or smaller. I also, I'm ashamed to admit, throw a huge fit when I have to get them. I complain for days in advance, and the complaining grows worse the closer the shot gets. On the plus side, this means I can never be a heroin user.

Because of my new job, I had to get tested for TB. I have never had a TB test before, but anything that has to do with needles or me losing blood to anybody else puts me on edge.

My girlfriend went with me and, God bless her, she should be optioned for sainthood for not strangling me in the waiting room. I complained the entire time about how they were going to stick me with the wrong concoction and then I'd be sent home in a pine box. When the nurse finally led me back there, I heard a kid crying, and started accusing the doctors of running an underground organization that tortured children and sold their tears on the black market. All this was in good nature, but to cover over how scared I actually was of the needle. I don't think my girlfriend realized how scared I really was until she saw the look on my face -- the look of panic in my eyes -- when I saw the needle.

"Are you serious? Do you see that thing? I thought they said it'd be tiny! You could harpoon a whale with that thing! I was thinking a quarter of an inch long, not two inches! Are you harvesting my marrow? You'll scrape my bone with that thing!"

My girlfriend is way too patient. She even managed to keep her cool when I began demanding blood for blood when the area I got the shot started bleeding.

On the way out the door, I was still ranting, so they gave me a sticker with a happy purple hippo on it that said, in big, happy, ironic letters, "I got a shot!" I accused the hippo of making a mockery of my traumatic experience, and obviously the hippo got it's jollies by laughing at my pain. Also, because the test left a bump for a few minutes, I began trying to convince my girlfriend that what they really did was give me an injection that would raise my body temperature to ridiculously high levels, and that bump was actually me boiling from the inside out.

Eventually, for the sake of our relationship, and my relationship with anybody that meant anything to me at all, I shut up. I consider it payback, though. Dearest One has had her moments where she has gone off on rants too -- usually in traffic when she sees a bumper sticker that contradicts her beliefs, or when she's cut off by some inconsiderate bozo. Once, she tried to tailgate and intimidate a diesel hauling a backhoe in her tiny little Ford. You just can't do that.

I may have been loud and obnoxious before and after the shot, but during, I was calm, quiet, and still as can be. There's something to be said when all you have to do is look into someone's eyes and know that everything is going to be okay.

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