"I recommend removing it because it looks like cancer," said my shiny new Kaiser dermatologist—the would-be Jewish sister with whom I wish I'd spent my childhood—as if she were reading from an owner's manual.
"It's probably just the irksome kind, not the fatal kind. We'll know after the biopsy, but we should remove it to be safe." Smiling.
"I didn't know there were two kinds."
"Actually, there are three, but only two are fatal." Sharing details of her upcoming flight to see her family on the East Coast.
"You'll smell your flesh burning; it's not pleasant. But it doesn't hurt. Do you have anything going on today?" Typing on her Big Kaiser Brother computer.
"My middle daughter is graduating from 8th grade."
"No problem. Just get a dress that will cover the bandaid. Or not. You could just own it! You're almost 50. You're not alone." Putting her hand on my hand.
Almost 50. Talking about the C-word, but not saying the C-word. Which will turn out to be nothing. And everything. Everything in that it's as if rather than carving away, she added a lens over my lens that allows me to see through the closed, lacquered parts—of people, circumstances, arid outer lives—to the parts that love and matter.
The parts that swing, whiff and try again.
And in the end are better off for it.