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Retro Blogs: The Uncomfortable Gamble March 30, 2009

Posted by Zack in Everything Else, Retro Blogs.
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WARNING: This is a very personal and at times graphic essay.  If you are squeamish at all, please think twice before reading.  This will be my last “Retro Blog” so I decided to go all out.  I hope you enjoy it and yes Leif, this is also my Odd Object Essay I sent to you in class.  You might want to not read it.  Enjoy…

I hated that Chevron.  Five days a week I spent standing behind a counter hearing people bitch about pre-pay only pumps.  It’s like they had never filled their tanks up before.  I would tell them it’s pre-pay only.  They would look at me like I had told them to go fuck themselves in Japanese and ask me how exactly they are supposed to do that.  I tell them to prepay with cash or a credit card.  They’ll say they don’t know how much it’ll take.  I’d ask them how much the tank usually holds.  They would give me a number.  I’d tell them to give me that much money.  They would ask to see a manager.
That’s about it.  Out of all the shit that I took, there was one thing that always cheered me up.
Scratch-off tickets.
Those little things always got me excited. Whenever I had nothing to do (which was a significant amount of my shift) I would buy the crossword puzzle scratch-off game and go to town.  I remember one time on a Friday night.  I scratched off a winning two-dollar ticket and slapped it down for the person I worked with.  She cashed it out and handed me the winnings.  I slid the two-dollars into my front pocket.  Suddenly, I had to pee.  Informing her of my newfound sensation, I crossed the store to the restroom.
Lifting the lid I began to pee freely while staring at the messy bathroom in front of me.  Someone had left used toilet paper on floor next to the toilet.
After searching the room for other things I had to clean, I glanced to the toilet.  I stared in unbelief, terrified to breathe.  My urine was not a brilliant yellow, or even a murky white.  It was red.  Blood red to be exact.  There was blood in my urine… tons of it.  What exactly does one think in a situation like this?  The answer is simpler than you’d think.
Absolutely nothing.
But your hands begin to involuntarily quiver, as an immediate sweat is broken.  Your heart sounds like the theme to Jumanji while every muscle in your body tightens except for the one you’re staring at.  The legs lock up around the same time as the inarticulate stuttering begins.  Breathing becomes shallow so you grab the handrail next to the toilet to keep your balance.
All while you think of nothing, except the words “blood” and “penis” and how they should never be linked.
I zipped up my pants and ran out of the restroom.
“What the hell is wrong with you?” she asked as I rounded the corner behind the counter.  Looking at my coworker I could only think to say one thing.
“My dick is bleeding.”
She stared in disbelief.  This is the exact time that I felt moisture from down below.  A small, red dot began to rise to the surface of my pants.  I told myself to stay calm and there is no need to overreact.
Of course as I was telling myself that I had already ran out the door and pulled into an intersection.  I instinctively called my girlfriend, Britney and pulled the phone up to my face.  The ringing began and went straight to a voicemail.  Rolling my eyes I left a calm and collected message that went a little something like this.

She never called me back.

I hung up the phone and felt a little better but the problem was still pooling in my lap.  I needed to see a doctor and I didn’t want to go alone.  I couldn’t.  There was something wrong with my manhood.  I’ve never been obsessed with my penis or worshipped it but there had never been anything wrong with it either.  This was new territory.
I buckled up tightly and locked the doors.  Pulling onto Euclid Avenue, I spotted my roommate’s car at the Blockbuster on my left.  I didn’t know she worked that day but hell, I was happy to find out.  I opened the door to Blockbuster into the unforgiving lights.  The stain was growing steadily.  My roommate, Jenny, greeted me with a flash of her teeth.  I walked around the counter and the teeth disappeared.
“Oh my god.  What the hell…”
“My dick’s bleeding.”
“Why is your dick bleeding?”
“Can you keep it down?”
“Why is your dick bleeding?”
“I’m not entirely sure but it’s fucking bleeding.”
“You need to go to a hospital.”
“Is it really that hard to talk quietly?”
At that moment a voice was heard behind me asking what was wrong.  I turned to see Chloe.
Now, before we go on, let me tell you something about Chloe.  I had met her through Jenny.  She was a tall, slender, Korean woman with a killer smile.  Even though I had a girlfriend, I had always had a secret crush on Chloe.  This wasn’t anything I ever pursued while dating Britney but I can’t lie and say I never thought about it.
Chloe’s eyes moved South and her mouth opened wide.  At any other moment of my life I would have loved for those actions to happen but not that day.
“Can we please try to keep it down just a little bit?”
“He said his dick’s bleeding.”
“You’re dick’s bleeding?”
“Look at his pants.  His dick’s definitely bleeding.”
“Girls, I’m not trying to break up the fun or anything but Jenny, I need you to come with me to the ER.”  She started shaking her head no and told me she couldn’t get off work for another two hours.  She then said five words that irked my heart and soul.
“Chloe, why don’t you go?”
Jenny, of course, knew of my crush on her friend and wanted us to begin to date.  This was for two reasons.
1.  She hated my current girlfriend and constantly assured me she was cheating on me.
2.  Thought Chloe and I would be perfect together.
Time would prove that she was right about one of those things.
Chloe decided this was a fantastic idea.  She dove into the car and took us to the hospital.
The insurance had taken forever to fill out.  I sat in the chair with Chloe on my side.  She was talking to me as I stared into a wall.  I began to run the many possibilities through my head of what exactly could be wrong with me.  STD?  Maybe they’d have to amputate. Would I have to piss into a catheter if they did?  How often would I have to change those things?  How would I hide it if I were in a show?  Jesus Christ, what about swimming?  No… they won’t have to amputate.  Maybe it’s just a larger problem inside of me.  Yeah, that’s it.  I’m bleeding internally and the blood is finding orifices to escape.

Why the hell is that better?
“Mr. Hightower?”  I jumped up and sprang forward.  Chloe told me she would be right there, waiting for me.  I nodded and walked behind the heavy door.  The examinations rooms weren’t rooms at all.  They were compartments shaped by curtains.  Each of them floated about two feet above the ground, betraying its inhabitants.  My heart began to race.
Okay, so what if it’s an STD?  All kinds of bad-asses have had STDs. Freddie Mercury rocked his way through life one ballad at a time.  Of course, he died the day after he announced he had aids.  But that’s neither here nor there.  Al Capone.  There was a badass.  He’s the reason Valentines Day is sometimes associated with the words massacre.  Total badass.  Of course, he died fishing from his balcony, into his pool, while suffering from dementia. Well what about that Libertine guy… you know what?  Never mind.
“This is your room.  The doctor will be with you shortly.”  She pulled the curtain shut.  Almost immediately the curtain opened back up and a wrinkled doctor stepped into the fabric room.  He sat in a chair next to me and told me to sit down.  I did.  He opened his mouth a talked very methodically, as if he weren’t human.
“What’s the problem?”
“My penis seems to be bleeding.”
“Seems or is?”
“Well I’m glad we got that cleared up.  Do you ever have any secretions during the day?”
“Like what?”
”White secretions just seeping out.”
“Nope, not that I know of.”
“You sure?”
“Son, if we want to diagnose you, we’ll need you to tell us the truth.”
I looked around the empty room.
He grimaced at me and wrote something down on his paper.
“When did the bleeding begin?”
“About an hour or so ago.”
“Does it burn when you urinate?”
“Not at all.”
He smiled and shook his head while writing something else down.
“I’m sorry, do you not believe me?”
“Why would I not believe you?”
“That’s what I’m trying to figure out.”
“Do you ever have unprotected sex?”
“No, I always use protection.”
He was consciously controlling his facial expressions as he wrote something down this time.  Just before I could question him, he spoke.
“Lay down and pull down your pants and underwear”
I pulled my pants off gladly, awaiting a diagnosis.  The blood had officially stopped running and it was dried inside my pants.  My underwear, now attached to my penis through dry blood, ripped away when I pulled down.  I cringed at the sharp shock.  I looked down.  No damage done I suppose.  I laid on the table and the doctor took a long, one-sided q-tip.  He walked over and grabbed my flaccid penis.  He angled it up and brought the q-tip down driving forcibly into my urethra.
It did not go in without a fight.
He let go of the dick and it collapsed to the right.  The stick from the q-tip stuck out about three inches.
Once again, speechless.  I withered on the table.  It didn’t hurt, don’t get me wrong, but it didn’t by any means feel natural.  You know when you get a splinter?  Not the ones that go in immediately and flag your nerves, but the ones that don’t go in all the way?  You know how they just hang there and the sight of something foreign hanging out of your skin is even worse than what it feels like?  Multiply that by a hundred and add a penis.
He ripped it out, which proved to be a worse experience that putting it in.  The end of the q-tip had specks of blood surrounding its head.  I kicked my legs slowly and brought my hands up to my chest.  The doctor had walked out of view.  I opened my mouth which spurred an exchange that I will never forget until the day I die.
“Jesus Christ, I think that was the most uncomfortable thing I’ve ever felt.”
I heard a latex glove snap on and the oozing sounds of lube being applied.
“I wouldn’t say that just yet.”  He told me to roll over.  I did.  He then stuck his fingers up my ass.  At that moment, I said the first and only thing that popped into my head.
“I’m up for some freaky shit but at least give me a warning.”
For the first time in the night, I heard the doctor genuinely laugh.
“At least you didn’t tell me to buy you dinner first.  I get that like six times a week.”


“How often do you do this???”
He pulled his fingers out and threw away his latex glove.
“I have to run some tests on that cotton swab but I believe you have Chlamydia.”
“How do I have Chlamydia?”
“I’m not sure, you might have picked it up.  How many sexual partners have you had?”
“I think three.”
“Well you should probably ask them to get tested because one or all of them have it right now.”
“You said you THINK I have Chlamydia.  What else could it be?”
“I don’t know.  We have to runs some tests but we’ll be in touch in a couple of days.”
“Well do I at least get a prescription?”
“Not until we determine what it is you have.”
“Isn’t Chlamydia easily cured by antibiotics?”
“Yes but we don’t want to put you on anything unnecessary until he find out what you have.”
“So you want me to go home and bleed out for a couple of days?”
“The bleeding has stopped.  We’ll be in touch soon though.  You’re free to go.  Have a good night.”
Without even shaking my hand (oddly enough, this concerned me, despite the fact that just moments before he’d had two fingers two-knuckle deep up my ass), he briskly walked out, throwing the curtain open.  I grabbed my pants and threw them on.  The mere thought of something up my penis made me quake as I walked.  The cheeks from my ass slipped across one another from the left behind lube.  I folded my arms across my chest.  Chloe stood up as I walked out of the examination room.  I walked over and gave her a hug.  She hugged me back.
“Are you all right?  What’d the doctor say?”
“I’ll tell you in the car.  I kinda need to get out of here.”
“Then let me get the car.”  She tried to pull away.
“Not yet, please, just a couple of more seconds.”  She didn’t try to pull away again.  She just held me. I sat silently in her embrace, needing it not to end.  After almost an hour of constant stress, a gentle hug is all I wanted.
We finally let go and she said she’d pull the car up, because I look uncomfortable walking.  I smiled and agreed.  After she walked out I looked around the emergency room.  Someone was bleeding from the head while a family next to them flocked around a small boy holding his arm.  The father was asking him questions.  I spotted a vending machine and decided to get a drink.  Pulling the winning two-dollars out of my pocket I walked past the scared dad.
“How does your arm feel?” he asked.
I put the money in the machine and out came a twelve-ounce Pepsi.  I popped it open and walked back to the door.  Chloe had already pulled the car up and was waiting on me.
“It feels… broken.”  The small boy muttered.
As I walked out of the ER I exhaled, silently agreeing.

My essay ends here but I decided to just fill in what exactly was wrong with me.  After two months of doctor visits and many allergic reactions to the prescribed medications, a single doctor (after another rectal exam) told me I have a prostate infection.  I took some medication for two weeks and all was good.  So that’s that.



1. matt - March 30, 2009

This blog’s great!! Thanks :).

2. Kevin Hall - March 30, 2009

Love it.

3. Broody Magoo! - March 30, 2009

If going through all that was half as painful as reading it was, my heart goes out to you. That being said, it was incredibly well-written, so good job there!

4. katie - March 30, 2009

wow Zack…..i dont know what to say. personal…very. i know how the many doc visits and medications feel though. and i know how it feels to have someone tell you something so serious and have to live with it till known for sure. i feel for you hunny

5. Conner - March 31, 2009

I thought you had kidney stones from drinking too much milk?
Or are there multiple times where you dick was bleeding?

6. Bob - April 19, 2009

One: Ouch!
Two: Ouch!
Three: You should have asked for a FEMALE doctor
Four: OUch
Five: did I mention

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