Posted: October 31, 2011 in Fiction, Test Subject

“Accepted. Breathe deeply and exhale slowly.” I suck in a deep breath. Doctor Allison moves the stethoscope around as she listens to the sound of me breathing. I try not to stare, but I also try very hard to tell whether the noises she’s hearing are good or bad. Her face remains still as carved alabaster. I want very badly to start asking questions. I doubt she’d appreciate it though; she’s still got the end of the stethoscope on my back. After a seeming eternity, she stops listening to me breathe and grabs a black blood pressure cuff from the table. I obediently hold out my left arm and she wraps it around my bicep. She pumps it to full inflation and listens again. It always seems magical that doctors can just listen to my heartbeat and tell my blood pressure. I’m sure it’s just a matter of doing math, but it’s math I don’t know.

She turns to the laptop and begins typing. “Okay. Remove your pants. And try to do it with your mouth closed,” she says. I bite back a laugh. That same self-consciousness washes over me. I stand and kick off my shoes. My belt buckle jingles as I pull the worn black leather loose of the tarnished loop. I unbutton and unzip, then shimmy my hips. The jeans pool at my feet and I step forward, out of the mess. I’m wearing nothing but slightly mismatched white socks that I swore were the same in the dark, and red boxers with “Mr. Right Now” printed across the ass. My face burns. Of all the days to wear the goofy underwear. The doctor mercifully ignores my wardrobe. “You’re not done,” is all she says. I pull down my boxers and kick them into the pile of the rest of my clothes.

The doctor crouches down and begins her inspection. I close my eyes and think about baseball. I hear horror stories from my friends all the time about how they got hard during examinations, and I have a very attractive doctor. Any worry I had is quickly dispelled. I gasp on first contact with my balls. Her gloved hands are ice-cold. She ungently grabs me. “Turn your head.” I do so. “Cough.” This repeats a few times. “Any pain?”

“No,” I say through involuntarily clenched teeth. I am suddenly worried that we are going to do a prostate exam too, but she mercifully lets go and I hear her move away. I open my eyes.

“You can get dressed.” I step into the pile of my lower garments and shuffle my feet until I can feel floor, then drag the whole pile up to clothe my lower half in one motion. I sneak a glance toward the doc as I retrieve my shirt. She’s got a lancet and some sort of scanner in her hand, and she’s watching me dress. I pull my shirt over my head. “Left index finger,” she says. She’s not much for conversation. I hold out my hand, palm up. She strikes like a viper. I don’t even have time to blink; my finger stings like a bastard, and she’s stuck the lancet into the scanner.

“Son of a bitch!” I stick my finger in my mouth. I taste copper. “You are cold, lady.”

“I have a lot of work to do, and I don’t have time to massage hurt feelings or offer lollipops to children. It’s just a pinprick.” Her back is to me again. She’s staring at the monitor. She’s right. I saw the lines. Everyone wants their fifty bucks.


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