February was a busy month for me, hence my shortage of posts. Anyways, I wanted to give you guys a little taste of the book I’ve been working on. It’s a semi-autobiographical account of my Peace Corps service in Turkmenistan. The events in the following excerpt took place just after I’d been nominated a volunteer back in 2005. I hope y’all enjoy ;)
The following week I received a letter in the mail from Peace Corps. It congratulated me for having been nominated a volunteer then unfurled into a spiraling staircase of steps I had to take to ensure that I was legally, mentally, and physically fit to serve. I kicked myself for having been so honest about my past during the online application process. I knew it would take months to finish what Peace Corps was asking of me, but what could I do? Just say “fuck it” and get crackin’.
Though a bit nerve-racking because of earlier run-ins with Livermore cops, the legal portion was the easiest for me to complete. I simply went down to our local station, gave them my information, had my fingerprints taken, then tossed ‘em the ninety bucks it cost to get my clearance papers. A week later they came in the mail. I was one step closer.
Next up was the head check. As per Peace Crops’ requirement, I was to have two one-hour sessions with a certified therapist concerning my “Experience with psychotropic substances” and my “Anxiety and depression problems resulting from the usage of these substances.” In short, I’d experimented with magic mushrooms back in college. While high, I’d seen God in a Van Gough painting then exploded through my own forehead in a blast of light. Because of all that, I’d thought I was losing my mind. It took three months of high-powered meds and six months of psychological counseling to get me back to half-normal again. When I saw the therapist she grilled me about all this. And though horrifying things crept out of the ceiling panels above me as I recounted my experience, I was able to make it through and get her clearance, suffering little more than a moist scalp and four cheeks sore from twitching.
The final and biggest hurdle was being medically cleared. I’d had many injuries as an adolescent and been quite promiscuous as a young adult, which meant the number of tests and check-ups I had to undergo was almost staggering. All in all, the doctors tested my blood, spit, and urine for every kind of drug, disease, chemical, and congenital defect in the book. Then they examined a “bone deformity” in my left foot, an atrophied muscle in my left calf, four damaged bones in my left hand, one damaged bone in my right, three suspicious-looking freckles on my nutsack, and finally, a “Right Bundle Branch Block,” which is basically a heart defect that inhibits your right ventricle from opening correctly. Since cardiac problems run in my family, this last bodily fuck-up of mine scared me the most. I nearly collapsed with relief when the doctors told me after a week that it was “no big deal.”
Once March of ’06 rolled around it seemed I was in the clear. I’d mailed all my shit to Peace Crops and gotten a “thumbs-up” on everything. The only things left to do were stack cash and pack for the big trip. But while on a supply-run to REI one day, I got a call. It was a lady from Peace Corps and she had troubling news.
“There’s an issue with your medical file,” she said.
“Yes. We’ve just done a final review of it and it says here you passed a small kidney stone back in 2000.”
“Sooo, we’re gonna need to have you get your bladder checked before we can give you final clearance.”
I about chucked my phone through the windshield. It took me a healthy second to breathe away the urge. Through gritted teeth, I thanked the lady for the heads-up. The next day I called our family urologist, Dr. Nguyen. The receptionist who answered told me the guy had changed offices.
“But his replacement, Dr. Hong would be happy to see you."
I came in the following Monday for my appointment. I was hungover (as usual) and in no mood for a bladder check-up. The receptionist greeted me with a smile.
“The doctor will see you now,” she said.
I nodded and walked to the back. Dr. Hong was standing in the hall waiting. He was a pudgy little smurf with black hair and shiny cheek bones. When I shook his hand it wilted like steamed cabbage. We exchanged pleasantries and he took me to the examination room. There, he asked me some questions about my kidney stone. I gave him half-answers and eyed my surroundings. Everything seemed pretty standard except for the seat behind me. It was raised and reclined with two big leg braces, bent at the knees and spread apart. I asked Dr. Hong what that was all about and he blinked once behind his specks.
“That’s where I’ll be conducting your bladder exam,” he said.
I didn’t like it but figured “what the hell.” After answering a few more questions, I dropped my pants, whipped it out and got in the seat. I assumed Dr. Hong would do some kinda touchy-feely crap followed by a few X-rays. You can imagine my surprise when he pulled out a digital TV screen with side-handles and a twelve-inch black proboscis hanging off the back.
“What the fuck are you gonna do with that?!” I yelled.
A bead of sweat trickled down Dr. Hong’s cheek. He wiped it away, swallowed hard and spoke.
“Don’t be alarmed. I’m going to insert this tube camera gently into your urethra.”
“Like hell you are!”
I cupped my junk and scrambled myself up. Suddenly, I remembered all the shit I’d been through to get to this point. Reason told me one more turd on the pile wouldn’t matter in the end. I shrunk back down, un-cupped myself and frowned.
“Have at it,” I said.
Dr. Hong nodded and swabbed my dick-tip with a numbing agent. Once it kicked in, he squared his glasses, fired up the probe, and stuck it hole-side. Before he entered, I grabbed his hand.
“Is this gonna hurt?” I asked.
He raised the corner of his mouth.
“Not so much. Just maybe a small sting.”
I exhaled and let go of his hand.
“Ok,” I said. “Proceed.”
Dr. Hong began inching his way in. At first, I felt little - a slight swelling at most. When he reached my bladder I felt a burn. It ran hot, hot, hotter up the wire till my entire penis was exploding with fire! I screamed out in agony and almost made him drop the camera. He jiggled it back in place, stared deep into the screen then drew out the probe. By the end of it, I was panting and sweating. I looked him dead in the eyes and snarled.
“Have you EVER had that done to you before?!” I said.
He shrugged and shook his head “no.”
“Well, try it on yourself sometime. Then you’ll know not to tell your next patient it only causes ‘a small sting.’”
The bladder exam with Dr. Hong turned up nothing. And though it may have been an excruciating ordeal, it did lead to my obtaining full medical clearance for Peace Corps.
Note: I reserve the right to occasionally alter the character names, descriptions, and/or event details in my posts for the purposes of identity protection and “fluidity of story.” If this puts a kink in your panties, read someone else’s blog, homey.