Nevus Say Nevus

In which I play with gifs because I can’t draw.

Yesterday I went to a new dermatologist office.

Nurse: What brings you in today?

Me: I have this big mole on the side of my face that isn’t getting smaller, so I’d like to see about having it removed. Also wanted to ask about these skin tags around my eyes.

Nurse: Ok, we can help with that. The PA will be in shortly.

[shortly]

Disembodied voice behind me: Hi, it’s great to meet you.

Me: I hear a voice behind me but I see nothing. Is that you, god?

This office has the patient chairs face away from the exam room doors. It’s HIPPAA-approved and probably good for modesty, but who brings THAT to the doctor’s office? Plebes.

PA, appearing finally in my line of vision: What brings you in today?

Me: I have this big mole on the side of my face that I’d like to have removed. It got like 3 times bigger while I was pregnant, and they said it might go back down, but wow obviously THAT hasn’t happened so here I am [don’t say how many years don’t say how many years]

PA: Yep. Sure, we can do that. Is…that all…you want to ask about?

Me: I know a trap when I see one. Why don’t you just tell me what you’re seeing?

No matter what I point out, it’s bound to be the wrong thing. I’m a 36yo woman with weird acne behind my ears, nose blackheads big enough to break your axle if you drove through them, skin tags a plenty, allergic shiners despite the 3 allergy meds I take every day, eyebrow hairs in at least 3 colors with the propensity to get shockingly long overnight, a chickenpox scar on my cheek (well, that one I’m actually a bit fond of).

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How much time have you got, PA McTeasey?

Besides, she was the elephant in the room: 7+ months pregnant, a perfect baby belly under her bold horizontal-striped top. She asked about my kids but never said *a single thing* about her own obviously impending one. And I, having taken the sacred vow to Never Assume a Pregnancy Unless I am Personally Witnessing its Exciting Conclusion, was powerless to ask.

PA: I have to tell you 3 things first. First, we have to send the tissue to the lab to biopsy, so you can have peace of mind that it’s not cancerous. And so your insurance will pay for it.

Me: A-yup.

PA: Two, there may be a small scar left afterward. It will be white and flat.

Me: Yep.

PA: I mean, anything’s better than what you’ve got, right?!

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Me: [highfiving myself in the face] Ok, so you get this. I like you.

PA: Third, it might come back.

Me: oh. I was “expecting” you to tell me you were pregnant. But yeah, fine. Slice n dice.

Approx 10 painless seconds later, it’s all done and I have a tiny bandaid over the previously nipple-sized mole. Hot damn.

PA, snapping off gloves: Ok, simple aftercare. Anything else?

Me: No. I mean, yeah! Could you make a quick recommendation about these skin tags around my eyes? My previous derm said I could just clean some scissors and snip them off, but I’m kind of afraid of poking my eye out, or cutting off my eyelid or something.

PA: THAT IS HORRIBLE ADVICE. I CAN’T BELIEVE THEY SAID THAT.

Me: weeping softly: It’s been so hard.

PA: Those are flat so we’d have to cut out all the skin under them, which, yikes! So instead, what we’d do is dip a qtip in liquid nitrogen and dab it on.

Me: Sounds…better? Approximate costs?

PA: Very low three-figures.

Me: Wow, great! I’ll schedule that on my way out!

PA: Yeeeah…just pick a Friday or something, because after we do it, you’re going to look like you were in a bar fight. Swelling, scabbing…

Me: Will you marry me? You can have our baby!

Outcome: all win.

I now have one less nipple on my face (aerodynamic win) and maybe a new scar once it heals (character win).

And someday soon, I will look like I’ve been in a bar fight (badassery win) and then have less face clutter (ultimate goal).

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heads up to loyal readers

Shit’s about to get dark.

I’m participating in a one-month project centered around writing and grief. I’ll be using this blog as the repository for my writing so it can be easily accessed by my project group.

Things are going to be heavier and even more self-centered for a bit. Feel free to unsubscribe or mute me — I take no offense, and commend you on choosing the media diet that feeds you best.

If you choose to stick around, please feel no obligation to comment or comfort — no offense, but for the purposes of this project, I’m not writing to please an audience (not even you dears) or score any points. I’m just trying to see things from a more focused perspective for a bit and figure out a better way to think, and perhaps, to write.

Thanks!

EJ

Bad Teen Poetry Saturday Night: Tonic

The sternum thump kickstarts my heart
The beat loosens my locked hips
The strum rips the lid off the cage
that holds
my breath
The organ spins me in and rocks me soothed.

Boom Boom Crash
tap tap tap
Howl and hiss and purrr
Murmur
and thrum
Muffle
and burn
clean

Lining up homeostatic processes,
cells start bringing mitotic pulses
shuffling each synapse
into the music of the spheres
extending
right up
to the higher harmonics

Make it hurt so good

Reduce and
Elevate me to Yes
Please.
More, please.

Yes

(Also, you know, it’s got a beat, you can dance to it.)

volume max on car stereo

Wrote the meat of this after a live show last fall. Live music loud is best, but loud will suffice for the day-to-day. All music has value, and any music is better than none. 

A Gentler Look at Postpartum Bodies

The intimacy I experienced with my body and my developing baby during pregnancy ….became, in a way, a metaphor for how I feel about parenthood—a striking awareness of loss of control, simultaneity of surrendering to change on a moment-to-moment basis while experiencing more joy and more fear than the heart can contain. Pregnancy and parenthood invoke an unprecedented heightening of anxiety—excruciating awareness of vulnerability, altering one’s perspective on the fragility of life, as well as a depth of love that redefines the concept. Why would we erase all of this complexity—the physical and psychological makings and markings of pregnancy and parenthood?

[via Smaller Than Before: The Politics Of Postpartum Bodies | Role Reboot]

Sixteen months postpartum, I thought that I haven’t been driven to “erase all of the complexity” (ie lose 20 pounds, or 60, Spanx up the twin skin belly, and so on) because even before kids, I didn’t have the standard sexy Barbie body.

I didn’t have even a healthy body before.

And I’ve been a radical feminist since forever, and to hell with the male gaze.

And frankly, I’m just too tired to take on the project of improving my projection.

Today I was reminded that while those ARE all reasons, they’re not ALL the reasons. Zucker’s post, quoted above, struck a gentle chord. It reminded me that the body-and-soul pregnancy experience I lived in and through — in and around and with my children’s bodies — was an Experience. Capital E, and it deserves to be remembered and revered as such.

Carrying and birthing the twins truly was the most carnal and sacred Experience of my life. Never before have I participated in a miracle, at once so engineered and so wild, and I never will again. I treasure it.

I’d never let anyone take the Experience away from me, and I sure as hell am not going to be the one to brush it off, minimize it, or forget about it. So yeah.

Classic monuments get chiseled from granite, cast in bronze, erected in steel, encased in glass.

My mama-ment is flesh and blood, muscle and sweat. It wiggles when I walk or laugh or work. It wraps my babies up in hugs, squeezes and shushes and sways. It’s mere mortal meat, an ephemeral expression of one genetic milemarker in human history. It’s just one of the latest in a line of mama-ments stretching back forever, and forward farther than I can fathom.

Erase THAT?!

I don’t share C.S. Lewis faith, but I return again and again to his apt living house metaphor from Mere Christianity:

Imagine yourself as a living house. God comes in to rebuild that house. At first, perhaps, you can understand what He is doing. He is getting the drains right and stopping the leaks in the roof and so on: you knew that those jobs needed doing and so you are not surprised. But presently he starts knocking the house about in a way that hurts abominably and does not seem to make sense. What on earth is He up to? The explanation is that He is building quite a different house from the one you thought of—throwing out a new wing here, putting on an extra floor there, running up towers, making courtyards. Уоu thought you were going to be made into a decent little cottage: but He is building a palace. He intends to come and live in it Himself.

Monuments are purposely built big, hard to miss, and impossible to forget. Why should mine be any different?  I’ll be proud to rear my children in a “decent little cottage,” but they deserve to remember that they came from a palace.

2013.10.05 EJ at 37 weeks pregnant

37 weeks. Like that’s NOT going to leave a mark?! (For scale, my boobs were H+ cups.)

 

I know this isn’t Tumblr, but I’ma talk about gender for a minute

I just got a cheap new pocket knife in the mail and I am too excited about it.

 

IMG_2461
What a silly question. It’s for all kinds of uses!

To keep in my purse, mostly, and surreptitiously open packages taped shut by mean thrift store employees who seem to want me to buy a pig in a poke.

But it’s good for anything! Just wait. You’ll need a cutting implement soon, and I’ll come to the rescue.

It seems like sometime in the last few years, there has  been an explosion of interest in naming gender(s) and sexualities. But I have yet to see one that seem to fit ME.

Because along with pocket knives and matches and baseball, I also like bugs and tadpoles and treehouses.

What is it be called if I’m a woman-body with the soul of an 8-year-old boy?