Fifteen years ago I was a professional drummer, but lately the ringing in my ears is much worse and I’m really sensitive to sound. My ear doctor said I have a classic case of noise induced hearing loss, but should I have an MRI of my head just to be sure?
God. Yes. Bossy admits to being approximately as mellow as Woody Allen when it comes to self-diagnosis. If it looks like a pimple and acts like a pimple, it’s a tumor. But Bossy’s doctor also happens to be her father, and you know how the cobbler’s children have no shoes? Or to be precise, you know how the cobbler’s grown children from his first marriage have no shoes, while the cobbler’s very young child from his second marriage has like seventeen pairs? Sometimes it’s tough to hold his attention.
So when Bossy had a series of headaches a couple of years ago and was certain there was a neoplasm pressing on her corpus callosum, it took quite a few weeks for her dad to schedule the MRI. Bossy was as nervous as a cat in a room full of rocking chairs. When she suggested that a boat-sized Valium or two would relax her, the outpatient desk clerk replied that she must be a big fat sissy. Or at least that’s how Bossy interpreted her parallel speech about faster quieter technology blah blah malpractice insurance blah.
Once situated in a paper hospital gown from the Hypochondriac Collection, the technician asked Bossy what she wanted to listen to while the mini-jackhammers took an image of her brain. “Frank Sinatra” Bossy decided. Then he gave her a button to push in case she needed to stop the test in order to cough or pee or in case Bossy got the sneaking suspicion there was a hospital-wide fire and the staff evacuated without her.
Then he secured the Silence of the Lambs helmet over Bossy’s face and slowly pushed her into the tunnel. Just like a body in a coffin. “When I was twenty-one, it was a very good year,” Frank sang. Shit, when Bossy was twenty-one, it was a very good year, too – endless freedom and possibility, a person could cough when and where they felt like it and, shit, are contact lenses OK to wear in this thing? Because Bossy had forgotten to ask and she could feel them becoming fused to her eyeballs with each ultrasonic ray.
“And now, the time has come, when I must face, the final curtain,” Frank was singing My Way. No way, Bossy thought. Bossy can’t lie here and listen to all of Frank’s easy-listening recordings! She would push her emergency button and when the guy wheeled her out, Bossy would yell, “Don’t you have any Frank from the Capital Records years?”
Bossy tried to imagine she was actually lucky to be supine instead of, say, pick-axing through the coalmines on the southern Wasatch Plateau. She was sort of convinced until Bossy felt a whirring over her face – the tube encapsulating Bossy was very likely spinning in order to capture the three-dimensional view that was its hype. Oh gentle Jesus. Because then Bossy felt like she was the one spinning. And each course may have been only five minutes long, but it felt more like three hundred seconds to Bossy. But she made it through, and so will you. Just anesthetize yourself right to the legal limit and beyond. And maybe choose Dean Martin.