Tuesday, February 19, 2013


Jack felt under his arm. The lump was the size of a golf ball.
What? His wife asked coming into the bathroom.
I've got a lump in my armpit!
Beth stared at his armpit. Sure enough there was a small egg pushing out.
Jack felt his face burn. This was it! Cancer had killed his mother and now it was coming for him.
This is not good...not good he muttered.
He had recently passed the halfway mark and was now forty six. Forty six!
Just go to the doctor. I'm sure it's nothing Beth said but her eyes were dark.
Bullshit! This is not nothng. You don't just get a fucking golf ball under your arm and its nothing.
I'll make you an appointment.

Jack rode the bus down to the doctors office. Pink ribbons adorned cars for breast cancer. Men wore pink ribbons on their lapel. Billboards blared the best programs for cancer. Headlines screamed that bottled water gave you cancer. Cancer survivors testified on the radio. His phone brought up National Prostate Cancer Awareness weak. He slumped down against the side of the bus, feeling his lump under his coat. He was doomed. He was fucked. He should have never smoked cigars. He ate too much meat. Too many burgers. He drank beer. This was it.

He waited in the small white room in the paper gown. The door opened
Mr. Hemmings. My name is Dr. Assiz.
Hello doctor he said feeling his heart jump
What seems to be the problem?
 Jack lifted his arm.
I have a lump under my armpit.
The Indian doctor frowned and began feeling his armpit. Jack broke out in a sweat. Dr. Assiz frowned again and shook his head. Jack knew that look. The doctor had the same look when he told his mother there was nothing they could do anymore. His heart was racing and he felt like he might pass out.

Itt's cancer isnt it?'
Dr. Assiz looked up.
Jack started to cry.
Cancer! Just tell me doctor...TELL ME!
Dr Assiz raised his eyebrows.
Well, what you have is an infection of the sweat glands, Mr. Hemmings.Did you change your deodorant lately?
Jack stared at the doctor, his heart pounding.
My deodorant?
Yes. This is usually brought on by too much deodorant. The glands get clogged and causes this swelling.
Then it's not...cancer?
No. Not the cancer, Mr. Hemmings. Just don't use deodorant for a few days and you will be fine.

Jack walked out of the doctors office and rewarded himself with a burger for lunch. Later that night he drank a beer and smoked a cigar on the balcony of his condo. He knew he would never get cancer.

Rocket Man...the Catcher in the Rye for the Great Recession

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