My Testicular Examination

The doctor wants me to get an ultrasound of my testicle. “Really?” This is what I thought when she told me. As if I had not already gone through enough.

I went in to see him because my testicle had been very swollen for half a year. I put it off for as long as I could, but when my testicle started getting in the way of my ability to walk and cross my legs, I decided to go in. He became a she because he was out sick. When they asked me if I didn’t mind seeing a female doctor I told them it didn’t matter to me. A doctor is a doctor is a doctor is a doctor as far as I am concerned. None of them know what the hell they are talking about.

It was bad enough when she asked me to pull down my pants and with a rubber glove on cupped my testicles in the palm of her left hand. As she turned my testicle around with her two fingers like some sort of fidget cube, I prayed to myself not to get an erection. It would be humiliating if I did. I made myself think of my grandmother in her hospital bed and I told myself there was nothing sexy about a female doctor examining your swollen testicle with a powdered rubber glove on. “Get it together man.” This is what I told myself. Fortunately, I succeeded in my efforts but the moment was awkward for both of us.

As I went to pull up my pants she told me not so fast. She asked me if I had ever had a rectal exam as she put some kind of jelly like liquid on the tip of her pointer finger. I told her I had not and she told me to turn around and that there was a first for everything. She told me that she just wanted to make sure that my prostate was ok. “Ok,” I thought. “Well, let’s just get this over with then,” I said.

She told me how to position myself with my pants down against the examination bed. I was  a good patient and did exactly what she said. When she inserted her jellied pointer finger into my anal cavity and poked around at my prostate I was surprised to feel a strange sensation of pleasure. It had been a very long time since I had felt the sensation of pleasure and did not expect it to come on so fast when I had a finger up my ass.

She told me that everything felt fine and that I could pull up my pants and I pulled up my pants faster than anyone in the history of human civilization has pulled up their pants. I felt very disturbed by the fact that my prostate exam felt so good but impressed that I was capable of pulling up my pants so fast. I fall in love quickly with any woman who can make me feel sexual pleasure so I tried to avoid developing feelings for the doctor as she explained to me her findings from my testicular and prostate exams.

“I would like you to get an ultrasound of your testicle.” This is what she said. “Really?” This is what I thought but did not say it out loud. I am a very compliant patient. My father was a controlling doctor so I know that more agreeable I am, the better the medical care I get will be. She gave me a number to call to schedule the ultrasound and told me to come back and see her a week or so after I have the procedure done.

It has been a few months now since the time I described above. I am yet to call that number, which I have tacked on the wall above my desk. I look at the number every single day but I don’t call. My wife keeps asking me when I am going to do it and I always say, “Soon.” The truth is I really, really do not want to call.

I have had many ultrasounds before. I have had them done on my chest, knees, foot, hand and the one thing I remember about all those ultrasounds is how good they felt. The warm heat from the ultrasound wand moving around in that jelly like substance all over my skin. It was kind of like a sexual fantasy, which was no sexual fantasy at all. I no longer masturbate or have sex with my wife or anyone else (although I am looking if you know anyone). I have not had a pleasurable sexual experience in a long time. I know that if I get that warm ultrasound wand rubbed all over my testicles, the outcome could be sticky.

Every single time I think about scheduling an appointment this imagine comes into my mind: The technician moving the warm wand around my testicle and me trying really hard not to get an erection. But then I do and both the technician and I feel very awkward. Then I orgasm all over the technician’s hand. How humiliating would this be? No way. Even though I am sure these technicians have experienced this before, I don’t want to be that guy. The pleasure I felt during the rectal examination was enough trauma for me.

But now it looks as if I am walking around with a large golf ball in my pants. My testicle has swollen to unbelievable proportions. I know that when people see me, my enlarged testicle bulging through my pants is the first thing they see. How could they not? My testicle is so large now that it is an obvious sign that something is out of place. All my pants are slim fit and at the rate my testicle is growing, it’s only a matter of weeks before none of my pants fit.

If I could just cut the testicle off to avoid having this ultrasound procedure done, I would. However, self-mutilation is not my thing. I am going to have to adopt an attitude of I Do Not Give A Fuck. I Do Not Give A Fuck if I develop an erection and ejaculate during the ultrasound procedure. I have been telling myself for years that I need to practice Not Giving A Fuck. I Give Too Much Of A Fuck what other people think and I disdain this about myself. It is a horrible way to live because then you go through life never really getting to be yourself. Those who Give A Fuck what other people think, live in bondage. I tell myself that this is a good opportunity to practice Not Giving A Fuck. “Just call and go get it over with,” I tell myself. Don’t Give A Fuck. But I still am yet to call. I am going to put it off for as long as I can because no matter how hard I try not To Give A Fuck, I still fucking do.

The Balding Husband

“Sounds great honey!”

I’ve been saying this a lot recently. As much as I can.

You see I am trying to win over my wife’s heart. For a while now I have had most of her heart but not all of it. Now I need all of it. Every last square inch.

When a husband has less hair, he needs to find other ways to win more heart.

My wife responds well to, “Sounds great honey!” The more enthusiastically I say it the bigger the smile. On downtrodden days it is harder for me to be enthusiastic, but I force myself since enthusiasm is what is wanted most by people.

We should put in nice gravel all over the backyard: “Sounds great honey!”

Lets get our hot tub up and running again: “Sounds great honey!”

I am going to be going away for a week to go camping with friends: “Sounds great honey!”

We should go into LA today and eat at a nice restaurant and then go to a bookstore and buy a bunch of books: “Sounds great honey!”

Maybe you could trim all the trees today and clean the leaves off the roof: “Sounds great honey!”

Would you please pay all our bills this afternoon and wash the dogs: “Sounds great honey!”

I have been committed to being so enthuisiastic with my wife because I am balding. I can’t believe I am even writing this but I am having to confront the inevitable fact that it is happening to me. It is not a rapid balding but my hair is thinning more and more every single day. Each day that I examine my head in the mirror, I am noticing more and more scalp.

The last time I had my haircut, the stylist said, “I will not cut anything from the back, since you need that hair.” Fuck, is what I thought when she said this. Balding is happening.

I did not think it would happen to me. My mother’s father had a full head of hair all the way up to his very end. My father has a head without much hair on it, but I work hard not to be as driven and stressed as him. As a result, I believed I could avoid his hair loss fate. The last time I spoke with him I considered asking at what age he really started to thin, but I decided that I would rather not know.

As I write this I have a concoction of aloe vera, lemon and castor oil in my hair. I am supposed to leave this concoction in my hair for an hour, twice a week to encourage new hair growth. My scalp is currently burning but they tell me that this is encouraging blood flow.

You see, my wife is 14 years younger than I am. She is just a year or so over the age of 30 and no woman just over 30 wants a balding husband. What would a younger woman like my wife do with a balding husband? Once my head of thick and wavy hair is half of what it was when we first met, how will my young wife cope with this? It can’t be easy for a beautiful, young wife to have an older, balding husband. Sounds superficial, but whether we like it or not, thinning hair is an issue.

So I have had to start being extra nice. Extra enthuisiastic. “Honey, could you come here?” “Sure honey, I will be right there,” I reply and move quick.

I have read that I can compensate for undesirable physicalities (hair loss) through kindness, enthuisiasm and making more money. This is why you sometimes see those very unattractive men with beautiful women. They have these three necessary ingredients.

I don’t know about making more money, but I can certainly be more enthusiastic and kinder.

When a man or woman is physically pleasing to the eye, he or she can get away with behaving like a shit. But once the appealing physicalities start to fall away- we have to stop being angry, greedy, selfish selves. We have to get better at being nice and putting others first. If not, we end up alone.

I have been taking supplaments, doing hair conscoctions, standing on my head for thirty minutes a day, massaging my scalp before bed, orgasming only once a week (sperm retention is said to help in Ayurvedic medicine), only using organic hair products, meditating twice a day for twenty minutes, abstaining from alcohol, eating more fish, keeping stress levels low and exercising- all in an effort to grow new hair or keep the hair I have left. Few things are more distressing to me than taking a shower and finding hair that has fallen out. I have none to spare.

I kick myself for the things I took for granted in my full-head-of-hair-youth.

I can’t afford to be a balding husband. I just can’t. It is too much of a blow to my sense of self. I have always been a man with a full head of wavy, thick hair. Who the hell would I be if I had more scalp showing than hair? The thought is terrifying even though I realize aging often involves coming to terms with these things.

For now, I need to wage a war against hair loss. I can’t imagine subjecting my beautiful, young wife to the insecurity of having a balding husband.

I need to go wash this stuff out of my hair then stand on my head for thirty minutes. I can’t be wasting my time writing. Writing isn’t any good for encouraging new hair growth.

The Trouble With They

They say writing helps. They say that more so than talking, writing allows people to really process thoughts and feeling within themselves and resolve things. This is what they say in study after study. I am going to write now. I am going to write about how they piss me off.

By they we normally mean other people whom we do not know.

They are strangers.

They are other people who control certain aspects of our lives.

They are the government.

They are corporate people.

They are people we do not like. Enemies.

They are people that we do not get along with.

They are a group of people who are somewhere out there.

They are soul, mind and body snatchers.

We rarely call someone we love they.

When I am not getting along with my wife, she becomes they. When I do not like other people they are they. When I am pissed off at my dogs they are they. When I am unhappy (which is normally always before 12pm) every single person is they. I am even they to myself.

When I do not like other people they are they to me. This all too often means my wife, my dogs, my patients, my parents, my sister and all the people who live around me. They are all they to me. Especially before the hours of 12pm.

I lack the ability to get along with other people. I attract o create conflict in the same way that prolific artists create art. It is the one constant in my life. I am incapable of getting along with other people. If I am getting along with other people I know it is only a matter of time before something will wrong. I have been in conflict with other people since the day I was born. I can remember feeling pissed off at the doctor who handled me too tightly when I first came into the world. I was pissed off at the nurse who held me upside down (for way too long) as I was trying to make sense of the bright room I had just been forcibly pushed out into. I was immediately pissed off at my mom for not defending me more against the techniques of this nurse. My father and I have been in conflict my entire fucking life. I mean what the fuck? Why would you do this to your son? Why would you fight with him all the time? You are a doctor, and educated man- aren’t you smart enough to know that you are setting your son up for a life spent in conflict? My father is always they to me. I just do not like the man one bit.

They all piss me off. I don’t get along with any of them. I continually fight with my wife, sister, mom, dad. Continual conflict. There will be some good times but I know that trouble is around the corner. Chekov once said that when a gun enters a scene it must go off. I always think that when another person enters the scene there is going to be trouble. I don’t say it out loud, but when my wife comes into the room I often think, here comes trouble. I need wine and weed just to help mitigate the negative effects of they.

They are all a serious problem for me. I don’t know what to do. They are continually setting me off. They are obviously putting my health at risk. I presume the damage has already been done since I feel fucked up most of the time. I do feel a bit relieved whenever I meet an old man who is miserable and has spent a lifetime in conflict. They give me hope that maybe I can live a long life, living a life always in conflict with someone. I live in a society obsessed with positivity, anti-stress, healthy relationships and happiness. They say that these things greatly improve our chances at longevity even though in the back of my mind I am almost certain that even happy and positive people die. For these reasons, I have tried to be positive and happy. I have tried to reduce conflict in my life. I have seen several people my own age who existed in a state of continual turmoil pass away from cancer. Because of they, I am worried that cancer is coming for me next. Don’t people realize that cancer is relations with other people? I know that I need to be the one who changes, but as long as I am around they– this is impossible. Conflict and troubled are too hard wired into my DNA.

They just piss me off. Always have, always will. What can I do?

I tell myself that I just need solitude. I just need to withdraw from the world. I just need to cut off all relationships. I need to be able to live alone. I have known this since I was a young man and was on a river rafting trip with my father. We floated by a hut in the woods with a single chair out front of it. I asked my father what that was. He said, “That is where a hermit lives son.” I asked, “What is a hermit?” “Son,” my father made sure to begin his answer with the disproving Son. “Son, a hermit is a failed man. A hermit is a man who lives alone and has withdrawn from the world.” I immediately replied, “I want to be a hermit when I grow up!” Son of a bitch. I even knew then.

I feel much healthier and happier when alone. I begin to feel stabilized, normalized when I am alone. My spirits lift and my nerves and blood pressure gradually return to a state that psychologists refer to as homeostasis. But then I crave human interaction. I want to be around my wife. I want to be around other people. I want to be in the world. I want to go to work so that I can get other people’s money. I am always drawn back towards other people but then the trouble starts. Above my desk I have written out notes to myself: Just Become Comfortable In Solitude. Please Spend Several Days In A Row Alone. Learn To Make Friends With Solitude. Take Days Off From Interacting With Your Wife, Sister, Anyone. I know being able to do this is necessary for my survival. I try but am drawn to other people like a moth to a flame.

I don’t know what to do at this point. I am pissed off at everyone. Where is the resolve that they speak about, which is supposed to come from writing? Where is it? Do I feel it? Is it there? I have just poured out my heart and soul. I have just processed complex emotions through writing this. Do I feel any resolution? Do I have more perspective now? Maybe. Maybe I feel a little less pissed off now. Maybe now in my mind my wife is no longer they to me. My sister is no longer they to me. The eight clients I have to meet with today are not they to me. Maybe now I am no longer in the reactive state that I was when I first began this. Maybe I can see how they are also just flawed and fucked up human beings like me. But I am alone right now. I know that the moment another person walks into the room, they will be trouble again.

The Dullness Inside. Conversation #52

I have been in a shitty mood this morning.

What’s the problem?

I don’t know. Maybe I just woke up on the wrong side of the bed. I have a lot to do that I am putting off. I had to take my large German Shepherd to the vet to get his stitches taken out.

That must of been fun.

It wasn’t. My wife can’t control the dog. She freaks out. Once we got him in the car he gets hair and crap everywhere. Makes a mess of what used to be a nice car. On the way to the vet my wife is driving so that I can control the dog. She is picking her nose off and on the whole way there. I don’t know if it is a nervous thing or what but it really bothers me. I see her picking her nose and then putting her fingers on the steering wheel after. It is disgusting. Between her picking her nose and her inability to handle our dog it was a frustrating morning.

Did you say anything about her picking her nose.

On the way back from the vet she was doing it again! Finally I had to say something. I couldn’t hold it in anymore. I told her it was disgusting and I needed her to stop. Ladies should not pick their nose as they drive. A bit is fine, but enough is enough!

Did she get pissed when you told her?

Of course. She is used to her mother and father telling her how great she is. Anytime I point out a flaw she gets really upset.

Too bad for you.

Its rough. But I don’t think this is why I am pissed off. These things are just symptoms of my pissed-off-ness. I think I feel an emptiness, a boredom that is eating at me. I don’t know what it is.

An emptiness and boredom?

Yes, like nothing happening that is interesting in my life. It is all pretty mundane. Routine. I buy things but this doesn’t even excite me much anymore. I guess I just don’t really feel interested in anything. It all feels forced. I am just buying time. Hanging around. Trying to fill my time doing various things.

Like what?

If I am not at work I listen to records and tapes, I read, I write, I make art, I exercise, I watch films and documentaries, I clean, I post of Facebook and Instagram- stuff like that.

Just passing the time?

Yeah it kind of feels like I am just waiting around for something big to happen. Know what I mean?

I think so. Seems like you are just living a very conventional, quiet life in a way.

I don’t know. I am not interested in spiritual enlightenment or figuring out the nature of existence. I am not really that focused on anything. I am sure I could be a great writer or artist but I am just not interested enough to put in the daily, hard effort it would take. Maybe I have just become apathetic. I don’t know. I love my wife very much but I do think I am bored in my marriage. I look to Instagram or Facebook to give me some meaningful social contact but that doesn’t really work. Maybe I am just bored. Just a lack of meaning. I really don’t know. Sometime the feeling of emptiness just makes me irritable.

I understand. Sounds like you are bored. You just don’t have much going on that you are really engaged in. Your work as a psychotherapist provides you with enough money to survive and buy the things you need but it is very unfulfilling work. It is work you do not enjoy and on your days off you are left feeling empty.

I guess. I try and fill in the holes. I try hard. I interest myself in so many aspects of culture and stuff like that but it doesn’t totally work. I try and write but I am not able to put the discipline into that or anything. Yeah, I hate to say it but it all feels very flat. Yesterday I posted something on Instagram that said, “That was fun but I always end up back at home again where the boredom begun.”

I guess the best you can do is learn to live with the boredom.

I suppose. I am trying to befriend it. Trying to get along with it. I’m not leaving my wife or moving anytime soon so I really have no choice. Now that I don’t drink booze anymore I don’t even have that brief period of alcohol induced fun anymore. Is a lot of this a symptom of living in the suburbs?

Could be. We are social creatures. The suburb where you live is very dull. The dullness that surrounds you could be seeping its way into you. I also think that the whole way you are living your life right now is just filling you with this feeling of boredom.

I wish I could figure out exactly what it is.

Lets get into this next time. I have to go and do some things. Talk later?

Ok, sounds good. Thanks for talking.

Sure.

Survival Of The Fittest?

Are you going to complain again?

I don’t see this as complaining. I am just talking about particular issues in my life. I think it is important to do.

Why?

Just helps to create more clarity and understanding within. It allows me to sort out various things I am thinking and feeling.

So what are you dealing with now?

I’m a bit frustrated. I was just sitting in my living room with my wife. We were reading our books and drinking our morning cup of coffee. I then told my wife that I was up all night worrying about my business failing. Worrying about not being able to make enough money to get by.

Wasn’t she trying to read and enjoy her morning coffee?

Yes.

So why did you put this on her then? Isn’t it a bit early in the morning for such heaviness?

Maybe so. I just wanted to talk about what I was feeling. Maybe I said too much.

What did you say?

I was just telling her how I was thinking about how unfair it is that there are a lot of people in the world making a lot of money doing the thing that they want to do. Artists, writers, musicians, architects, business people and on and on all making an excellent living doing the thing they presumably love to do. I on the other hand am not making very much money doing the thing that I do not really want to be doing. Just doesn’t seem fair, even though I know life is not fair and it is the way it goes.

Why do you not want to be doing what you are doing for work?

It is just not what I would ideally be doing if I had a choice. I feel like I am doing it because it is the easiest and most secure thing for me to do at the moment. Maybe I am doing it because fear keeps me from doing anything else. It is not so bad what I do. I do not hate it but it is hard and not a lot of fun. I am trying to get into it. Trying to embrace it but now that my business is beginning to fail I feel like I need to devote more time, energy and effort trying to get my business up and running again. I need to put more energy into doing the thing that I do not really want to be doing in the first place because I need the money.

So now that you are not making much money at doing the thing that you do not want to be doing you have to spend a lot more time and energy building back up the thing that you do not really want to be doing?

Yes. And I also need to be worrying about not being able to make money doing the thing that I do not really want to be doing. Now all of a sudden I really want to be doing more of the thing that I do not want to be doing so that I can make more money doing it and have more financial security as a result.

I see. So now you need the thing that you do not want to be doing because if you do not have the thing that you do not want to be doing you will lose your financial security and possibly your social status as a result.

Yes. And then I may have to go work another job, which will just be a thing that I do not want to be doing even more so and then the thing that I do not want to be doing now will become something that I wish that I was still doing because it is better than the thing I have to do now.

I get it. So it is almost like you are lucky to be doing the thing that you are doing now even though it is not the thing you want to be doing. Like a prisoner who is lucky to be in his cell because he could be seriously harmed if he was allowed to roam free.

Yes. I suppose that is accurate. I am lucky to be imprisoned in the way that I am because there are so many worse forms of imprisonment out there. But I still do not enjoy or like being imprisoned.

Yes. And now that you feel like you could lose your jail cell you are feeling like you should be more grateful for the safety and security that your cell provides?

Yes. I feel like I may have taken it for granted and now I am paying the price and also have to work harder to get my cell back!

How messed up! So what happened when you tried to talk with your wife about all of this?

She listened for a few minutes but then said she had to go to the bathroom and that put an end to our conversation.

She did not want to hear it?

No. Obviosuly not. Probably gave her anxiety. Also she is a therapist and listens to people all day talking about their problems. I have noticed that she has little tolerance for my problems.

Yes. But you also always talk about your problems. That is most of what you talk about. Because you have no one else to talk too, she has to listen to all of it. She is probably just tired of hearing you talk about your problems.

Possibly. But I feel like she should still try and make an effort to listen. I realize I talk about problems a lot. I realize I worry a lot. But this is the person I am. I need someone to talk with about it. My wife just seems to have little interest in talking with me about these things.

How do you know?

Because when you start talking with someone about your thoughts and feelings, you can tell pretty immediately if they are interested or just want to get the conversation over with.

And you feel like your wife just wants to get the conversation over with?

Yes! Always. She is continually trying to fix my problems, telling me what I should do rather than just listening and talking with me about stuff.

Maybe you should take her advice rather than thinking that what she says is not possible. Maybe you should really try and take some of the solutions she offers.

Maybe. I always feel like things are not as easy as she makes them out to be! I have real problems that need to be worried about and understood. I feel like her solutions are often not practical.

So you want her to worry more?

No. I guess I just want her to be more aware of the problems and less easy going or less care free about everything. I need her to realize that us not having enough money is serious! She should cut back on spending. She should figure out how she could potentially make more money. She should be more worried!

So maybe you do want her to worry more?

Maybe so. Maybe worry is not always such a bad thing. Maybe worry is what can sometimes keep things from falling apart. I just want her to see the severity of this situation and be a bit more concerned rather than telling me things like “since you are working less you should take more time to write a book.” What???

I just think that you want her to be as upset and concerned as you are. This will make you feel more comfortable knowing that she is aware of these various threats. As a result of being aware of these various threats she will exercise more caution.

Exactly!

But this is not how she is. She is an easy going, non-worrying, “it is all good” kind of person.

It drives me nuts sometimes.

I am sure. It drives you nuts because…….

Because I feel like she should be more threatened. It is always the creatures who feel threatened and worried who tend to survive. Those walking around thinking “its all good” tend to be the ones who are eaten.

Survival of the fittest?

Yes. I suppose that the worriers are often the fittest.

They are the ones who survive?

Yes.

I don’t know man. I think the worriers stress themselves out immensely and can as a result cut their existence short. But it is true that someone who does not worry, is not really stressed about much and does not take many precautions could also cut their existence short. It is hard to say if the worrier is more likely to survive than the non-worrier. But I will say that the non-worrier, even if they do not survive for as long, will have a much more pleasurable time living.

This is probably true.

No one lives forever. Everyone must go. Wether it is at 90 or 40, it always feels like it has ended too soon. So if the non-worrier passes away at 40 at least they lived a more pleasurable life than the worrier who make it to 90 and still has to pass away anyways.

I think I see what you are saying. You mean it is about quality over quantity?

Yeah. I guess you could say that. It is all relative right. Whether you are 40 or 90 when you pass away, it will still be right now. It will still feel like it is too soon. The quantity will be irrelevant if the quality was not good. If the quality was good than the quantity does not matter nearly as much.

I see.

So your wife is more concerned about the quality. When you bring up all these problems and worries of yours you are interfering with the quality of her life. She is just trying to sit there and enjoy her book and morning coffee and all of a sudden you spoil that for her. You corrupt the quality of her morning. It upsets her so much that it causes her to have to go have a bowel movement. You need to go easy. Her constitution is not designed to deal with all the worries and problems that are a daily part of your life. You need to really try and keep a lot of your issues to yourself. It’s not fair to her because she just wants you both to be able to enjoy your lives together. That is her priority. Money and all that stuff is secondary.

I see. I guess that is why I started this blog.

Yes. Exactly. You have me to talk too. Stop putting it on her all the time. Your negativity can wear away at a person like her over time. She is not designed to handle such a continual onslaught of negativity, worry, problems, conflicts. Stop putting it on her.

You are right. You are right. I do need to knock it off. I need to really try and be more mindful about this. (Sigh.)

Take her advice. Take the time to try and improve your business. Work on your creative endeavors. Read your books. Stop worrying so much.

Ok.

Got it?

I do. Thanks.