This morning, Tom awoke and said, “Do I have something on my head?”
I bent reluctantly over him to have a look. I have no stomach for odd skin growths. There was a small, slightly discolored, slightly raised circle on the top of his head.
“You probably ought to have it checked,” I said, not all that alarmed.
About an hour later, the dermatologist’s office calls to say that Dr. Parkinson has two openings in a couple of hours. Do we want them? I don’t, but Tom goes.
Tom hadn’t phoned them. They called out of the blessed blue. I love that kind of sychronicity.
Later, Tom calls me on the cell, which identifies him as Basilio Filbert—we don’t know why—and tells me it was squamous—rhymes with pus. It’s the second most common skin cancer but is very fast growing, and he found it early.
When he gets home, he looks at Squamous Cell Carconomas on the internet. One old man has about a fourth of his head chopped out. One has a huge one on his anus. A woman has a large one on her vulva. Tom wants me to see all of these photographs, but I won’t have it. He holds up his laptop, “You should see this!”
“Get away from me,” I said.
Years ago, my father wanted to show everyone an MRI of his blocked colon.
“No thanks,” I said.
“No thanks,” said my sister.
“Uhh, no,” said my brother.
“I’d like to see it,” Tom said.
The two of them walked out of the room like guys heading for a beer.
Please note that I spared you an image.