A girl that I fucked told me that I have a lot of moles and I should get them checked out. It’s true, I have a few moles but I never thought about skin cancer and I have never had a skin exam. So, I set an appointment to see a dermatologist, one who was accepting new patients and one who was covered under my insurance.
Naked under a gown, in a coldly lit room,I realized I made a mistake. It took two minutes and $135 for the pretty middle aged doctor to tell me:
“you have a very high co-pay but everything is fine.”
It felt kind of like a strip club in that I was ashamed of how much money I spent when I was walking out. $135 dollars! Fuck that’s a lot of money for two minutes, and for what? Peace of mind? I wasn’t even thinking about skin cancer until last week. $135 dollars?! I could have taken that girl out to a nice dinner and probably fucked her again. $135 dollars?! That’s a new pair of shoes! Oh well, I guess I’m healthy, all my bills are paid. I would’ve spent the money frivolously on something, anything. What made me more upset was that the dermatologist’s office is on the top floor and when I left the elevator stopped at every floor on the way down to let someone on. I guess we are all going down anyway.
The train wasn’t at the platform at 7:57 AM like it should have been but I heard it lurking around the corner, lurching it’s head forward, looking for me. I tapped my left foot, contained in a brown Italian leather shoe from Ermenegildo Zegna. I clutched at my black Tumi attache which held a book written by Franz Kafka. Today, I felt exceptionally handsome in a navy blue Valentino wool-blend suit with a two button closure and center vent. The bottom part of the sleeve on my Giorgio Armani shirt was held together by Tiffany cuff links. The only thing that bothered me was my haircut which was rather expensive considering the fact that I had to keep checking it every time I caught my own reflection in a passing window. The cordless Apple headphones in my ears weren’t playing any music. I stepped from the platform onto the train at 8:03 AM-six minutes late.
I sat down and reached into the Tumi attache for my book. I thought about the dry cleaning I had to pick up later. I thought about if I should work out chest or back at the gym that night. I thought about my receptionist’s ass. I thought about French existentialism and how French writers always have to bitch about how they aren’t feeling good. I thought about my girlfriend’s parents. I thought about if writing could ever stand on it’s own or if it was only good if it was tied to some socio-historical context. I thought about homework I have to do later. I thought about how I want a better job. I thought about the new Adidas that just came out and how I would go about getting a pair. I thought about how I should take myself more seriously. I compared myself to others. I opened my book.
The train stopped abruptly and the lights began to flash. The train was empty. I couldn’t remember if their were people in it when I got on. I looked up and saw a big juicy rat sitting on the bench across from me. It just sat there, aloof, kind of staring at me. The lights flashed and the train began to creep forward again. The Latino man standing next to me dropped his grocery bag-an apple rolled out of it and hit a woman’s foot. She looked down and picked it up as if she wanted to take a bite. I looked down at my book and saw the words:
‘Give it up! Give it up!’
He had pain just like everyone else on earth. Even though it wasn’t tangible and mostly self sustained it was still there. Something that’s not noticeable but is still there. Like stars in Los Angeles. His life wasn’t full of negativity and he wasn’t struggling to put food on his plate. Well not struggling too much. His job was secure and his family loved him and he reciprocated that love even more so. He kept a close circle of friends, only the ones which were loyal as there were few. Even though he held a deep sorrow for the loved ones he had lost he knew that it was a part of life and that he would see them again in the heavens. Faith was never out of question. He was humorous and often laughed with those around him. His smile was bright and visible through a crowd. He had a wild enthusiasm which always shone through. He always tried to lighten the mood in the soberest of moments with a joke or a bubbling personality. The fear was reserved. It was all put on himself by himself. He was annoyed by others lack of ambition or creativity. He knew that each person was as unique as a snowflake with a mind full of endless possibilities. But many were wasted on bullshit. The rarity of the mind seems to have lost out to TV and social media and becoming drowned in a society that doesn’t love you. But he loved you. He knew what you could do even if you didn’t. He wanted you to challenge him, he wanted you to start talking about something ethereal and mysterious. He wanted you to school him on an idea or something he didn’t know about. In this is where his pain lied. He wanted to be that person who knew about the world. He wanted to know about culture and wine and politics. He wanted to know about books and fashion and food. When people asked him about finance and travel and sports he wanted to tell you. The pain that he felt was that he wasn’t living up to his potential. He felt that his fears of failure outweighed his ambitions. He knew that the human mind was beautiful and he didn’t want to waste his on shallow things. He searched for people to challenge him