How I Learned I Had Herpes
But I know it will. It does
every time he does it. Every time he puts on that rubber glove, lubes himself
up with K-Y and sticks his forefinger up my butt. I try to relax, but the thought
of a finger up my butt makes me uncomfortable. Especially the finger of a fiftysomething
the doctor, “relax. If you don’t, I won’t be able to get up there.”
I try to relax my asshole
enough so that he can stick his finger up there. He tries to get in there a
couple of times, and finally has to use some more lube.
“Ouch!” I exclaim.
“That fucking hurts!”
“Sorry,” Dr. Hurle
mumbles, and starts to poke his finger around the inside of my small intestines.
I moan in agony, and swear at him pretty loudly.
“I’m almost done,”
he says, and then feels around for my prostate. Just like I knew he would. He
finds it, and starts to touch it. I scream loud, and he asks me if it hurts.
I tell him yes. He tells me it’s inflamed, something I already figured,
and then he removes his finger. Slowly. As he pulls it out, I feel like I am
having a bowel movement right in front of him. I feel humiliated.
to wipe up with,” says Dr. Hurle, as he hands me a wad of tissue. I wipe
myself and hand him back the wad. He looks at it, and me, and then throws it
into a garbage can with the “biohazard” logo on it.
starts Dr. Hurle, and I know what he’s gonna say next. He’s gonna
tell me I have an enlarged prostate, and to quit drinking so much, and fuck
more often. “You have an enlarged prostate. You should really consider
consuming less alcohol, and you should strive for an active sexual life.”
I just look at him. He tells
me the same thing every time. And every time I say I’ll do what he says,
but then, don’t. I mean, hell, less drinking, more sex? I wish. If I was
having all that sex that he wanted me to have, I don’t think I’d drink
so much. But since at that time in my life I wasn’t having a lot of sex,
with other people anyway, I drank a lot. It was kind of like the chicken and
egg. Cause versus symptom. My penis versus a beer.
I start to pull up my pants,
and then remember I forgot to ask Dr. Hurle about one thing.
“Umm,” I stutter,
“Dr. Hurle? Can you look at my, um, err, penis? There may be something
wrong with it.” There was, but I didn’t want to tell him. There was
something really wrong. It was all red and sore, and was a bit bloody up near
the head. But you really couldn’t see it when it was shrunk up in fear
from a finger up the ass.
“What seems to be the
problem?” says Dr. Hurle, and I see in his eyes from behind his wire-frame
glasses that he really doesn’t want to play with my penis today.
“I don’t know,
you should look at it. I don’t know what’s wrong with it. It just
Dr. Hurle sighs, and then
begins to examine my pecker. At first he feels my testicles, weighs them in
his hands or something. Then he pulls on the head of my penis, and he sees the
sore on the top of the shaft.
“Holy cow!” Dr.
Hurle exclaims. He’s old-fashioned like that.
“George. You have herpes.
And from what I can tell, this is a very severe case.”
I start to swallow quickly,
and get very nervous. He releases my penis and tells me to pull up my pants.
“George, I have never
seen a case of herpes like this,” says Dr. Hurle. “I want you to go
see a specialist. Dr. Rector. He’s a urologist. He’ll know what to
I say to him, as he starts to leave the room.
“Yes. Go see Dr. Rector.
I’ll give the information to the nurse up front. I’m so sorry for
you. Remember, don’t drink so much, and have a more active sex life.”
I look at him as he says
that, and he quickly excuses himself and tells me to have a nice day.
That night at home, I’m
eating dinner with my mom and stepdad Nick.
“So George, what did
Dr. Hurle have to say today at your physical?” my mom asks me, as I eat
my hamburger on a roll with lettuce, tomato and mayonnaise.
“That I’m totally
fine,” I lie to her.
“How’s your prostate?
Still enlarged?” she asks. I hate when my mom asks about my prostate.
“Yeah, still enlarged,
and, umm, there is something else.”
My mom gets that look of
panic in her eyes. Like when I fell off my tricycle when I was three. Or when
I took my guitar onstage, and hit some jerk in the face who kept undoing my
wrong?” she demanded. And I could see she was almost near tears. Moms.
“Nothing,” I say,
“nothing really, only I have, umm, errr…”
says Nick, trying to make me say it so my mom doesn’t have a heart attack.
“Well,” I begin,
“Dr. Hurle says I have herpes.”
Suddenly my mom is in tears.
And Nick is staring at me, in shock. I don’t know what to say, so I just
try to comfort them both.
“It’s no big deal.
It’s only herpes. It’ll go away. Really.”
My mom stops sobbing enough
to say, “My son has herpes. I have a child with herpes. My God.”
“George, what did Dr.
Hurle say?” asks Nick, trying to be logical, sensible and a know-it-all,
“Well,” I start,
“he says I have a terrible case of herpes, and to go see Dr. Rector.”
“My son has herpes,”
sobs my mom. “Now he’ll have to advertise in the back of the Voice,
‘SWM with Herpes seeks SWF.’”
I guess herpes was a big
deal back then.
I try to comfort her and
tell her it’s nothing, but she won’t listen to me. Finally Nick calms
her down and says that we should wait to hear what Dr. Rector has to say. I
feel so sick I can’t finish my hamburger.
A week later I’m in
Dr. Rector’s office, looking through magazines like Modern Maturity
and Highlights. I figure he sees all sizes of penises.
“Mr. Tabb,” says
a cute blonde nurse, “the doctor will see you now.”
I go into a little room
and wait around for about 10 minutes with nothing to read. I wish I had taken
Highlights in with me. Goofus and Gallant really crack me up.
Finally Dr. Rector strolls
in, and we shake hands. I wish I didn’t, seeing that he was a urologist
and all, and I know where his hands have been.
He tells me to drop my pants
and starts to examine my penis with some magnifying glasses he has on. He tugs
at it, twists it and I feel blood begin to rush down there. I try to think of
sports or something. I don’t like getting erections with fiftysomething
he begins, “Dr. Hurle sent you over here with a case of herpes, and it
looks like that is what you have.”
I tell him I figured as
much, and what should I do now? He looks at my penis some more, and I begin
to think he likes looking at it a bit too much, so I yank it away from him and
pull up my pants.
“George, while you’re
here, I might as well check out your prostate,” says Dr. Rector, probably
upset that I pulled up my pants so quick.
“No way, Jose,”
I say to him. “Dr. Hurle checked it out last week and it’s enlarged,
as usual. Sorry, but my ass just isn’t up to it.”
he says, all doctorly and stuff, “if that’s the way you feel.”
I tell him it is.
“Well,” says Dr.
Rector, “you have a severe case of herpes. There is not much I can do.
I think you should see a specialist.”
I tell him I thought he
was the specialist.
“No,” he says,
laughing, “I’m not a specialist in herpes. You should go see a dermatologist.
Do you have one, or should I recommend one?” he asks.
I tell him I have one. And
I do. The one my mom and Nick see. Dr. Rose. A really nice guy, who, like my
other doctors, is also on the Upper East Side. Dr. Rose treats all the stars.
Like Woody Allen, all those fancy, tall, no-breasted models. He even treated
Jackie O. I saw her once when I was up there getting my zits popped by a large
Swedish woman named Helga.
“Okay then, George,”
says Dr. Rector, “then good luck to you. And are you sure you don’t
want me to just feel your prostate to make sure it’s okay?”
I run out of there as fast
as I can.
Later that night, as I’m
lying in bed watching Star Trek and thinking about how I’d love
to boff Yeoman Rand, but what if I gave her herpes, and did they have a cure
for it in the 24th century, my mom walks into my room.
“You’ll be okay,”
my mom says, more to herself than to me. “You are my son and I love you,”
she says, and with that, kisses me on the forehead and leaves the room. I want
to die. Right then and there. That, or run away and join the circus, and never,
ever, come home.
A few days later I’m
in the office of Dr. Rose, staring at some supermodel from across the room.
I pretend to read Esquire, New York or some such crap, but really
am peeking over the top of the damn thing at the brunette across the room. She
is beautiful. Her legs are really long, and she’s wearing a short skirt.
She has nice-sized breasts for a supermodel, and really pretty blue eyes. I
feel myself starting to get hard, and it hurts. Damn herpes.
I continue to pretend to
read the magazine some more while I stare at the model. I start to wonder what’s
wrong with her. Maybe she has a cyst. Maybe a pimple. But where? I imagine it
is on her breast, or near her vagina. How’d I’d love to be Dr. Rose,
and get to pop the damn thing. Wow. I start to think maybe punk rock wasn’t
the best career choice.
“Mr. Tabb,” says
the middle-aged nurse with a heavy Queens accent, “Dr. Rose will see you
I follow her to a small
room and sit on a table covered with paper. As usual. I wait about 10 minutes,
and finally Dr. Rose walks into the room. He has a big smile on his face, and
I start to feel okay. I like this guy.
“How’s your mom?
Nick? Becky, Nick’s mom?” asks Dr. Rose. I tell him everyone is okay
and thanks for asking.
“And how are you, George?”
he asks. I look at him, with his boyish good looks and gentle smile, and suddenly
get very, very jealous. Right after me he was gonna see that model, and I know,
I know he was gonna get to take her skirt off. Damn him.
I begin, “but not really.”
I explain that both the
doctors said I have herpes, and my mom is very upset, and so is Nick, and now
I have it and I’m never ever gonna find a girlfriend and I’m going
to die not ever having sex again and…
“It’s okay, George,
it’s okay,” said Dr. Rose, as he rested his hand upon my shoulder.
“Just relax. I’ll take a look at it, and we’ll see what we can
do. Don’t worry.”
I thanked him for being
so nice and then he told me to pull down my pants, so I did. Then he said the
So I lie on my back with
my pants pulled down around my knees, and I feel the cold paper against the
back of my legs and my ass. Dr. Rose starts to fiddle with my penis, looking
at it from all angles. He puts on a pair of magnifying glasses over his regular
glasses, and looks at the sore. It’s all red and bloody and stuff, and
he just keeps looking at it.
“I’m doomed, right?”
I ask him, knowing he is going to tell me that this is the worst case he has
ever seen, that he wants to send me to Geneva as a lab rat so I can be written
up in medical journals coast to coast.
“Hmmm,” says Dr.
Rose. That’s all.
“What?” I say.
“Hmmm,” he says
I start to panic. It’s
worse than a trip to Geneva. I’m going to die. I have herpes type alpha-beta.
The deadly kind. The kind they haven’t discovered yet. The kind that makes
your penis fall right off as you’re urinating. I could see myself fishing
around the toilet, trying to retrieve my dick and reattach the damn thing. I
know I wouldn’t be able to, and I’d have to live my short time left
without one. I’d never be able to change in the gym again, in the men’s
locker room, anyway. I’d never get an erection again. My right hand would
miss my penis so much it would fall off. Hell, I’d have to sit down while
I peed. Life was not fair.
“Hmmm,” says Dr.
Rose again, stirring me out of my paranoid but true thoughts.
with me? Am I going to die?” I ask him.
Dr. Rose turns my penis
over a couple of more times, and then tells me to pull up my pants. I do.
says Dr. Rose, “I have something to tell you.”
“Yes, Dr. Rose?”
I say, with my voice quivering. This was it. He was gonna tell me when it would
fall off, and how long I had to live.
“George,” he began,
as my heart raced like crazy, “first of all, you don’t have herpes.”
I let out a big breath of
air. I didn’t have herpes. I was saved.
Dr. Rose, and my heart leapt to my throat. “But,” he repeated, “you
do have to use a lubricant when you masturbate. If you don’t, this will
And with that he patted
me on the shoulder and began to walk out of the room.
“That’s it? I’m
okay? My penis isn’t going to fall off? I’m not going to die? I don’t
have penis cancer?” I couldn’t believe it.
Dr. Rose, “you’ll be just fine.”
But I knew I wasn’t.
How was I ever going to explain this to my mom? I think I would rather
have had herpes.
In bopping the bologna news,
the Jag Offs finally released a split CD with the Four Letter Words on Recess
Records. The Jag Offs, for those of you who don’t know, feature Rawl from
F.Y.P. on drums, Not-so-lonely Tony on bass, Jacob on guitar and San Pedro/New
York/San Pedro’s Monica Demonica, who you may remember as the inventor of “porchcore.”
Monica, who was once in the Mishaps, among other legendary Southern California
bands, now sings and plays guitar with the Jag Offs. And she kicks ass. Songs
like “Kitty Cat.” “Gimmie Fuck,” “Scaredy Kat”
and, of course, “Porchcore” rock my world. They also rocked the Continental
a few weeks back. In fact, they rocked it so much the drum set went flying everywhere
and Noel got pissed at them. Those punk rock kids!
Speaking of punk rock kids,
I just got the new self-released 7-inch from Crimson Sweet called Robot Bus
Driver. And it’s on clear vinyl! Songs here include “I Can Touch
You Now” and “Bad Riddle” as well as the title track. Good rockin’
stuff, and the singer, Booster, well, hardens my rooster. Ya know what I mean?
How you doin’?
Remember the 80s? The early
ones? When we all had or wanted long spiky hair and wished we were the Alarm,
Echo & the Bunnymen or that band that sang the Breakfast Club theme?
Well, Human Drama was one of those bands that should have been a lot huger than
they were. And their new CD, The Best of Human Drama: In a Perfect World
on Hollows Hill Records, proves it. Led by Johnny Indovina, this band played
the kind of tunes that were later stolen by everyone. The music is very melodic
and touching, the kind of stuff you put on when you want that girl you’re
with to put out. And if that doesn’t work, just show her Johnny’s
picture on the back of the damn thing. Chicks really do love that Trent Reznor/Gothic
Guy look. Now where’s my facial powder?
Seaman, for the Sega Dreamcast,
is spelled S-E-A-M-A-N. And Seaman will let you know that. His name is SEA-man.
Not semen. The first virtual pet program for an advanced gaming system, Seaman
is more of a simulator than anything else. Bundled with a microphone for the
Dreamcast controller and using voice recognition technology, Seaman actually
talks to you. And you talk to him. He looks like a fish with Jello Biafra’s
face and the voice of Q from Star Trek. And he rocks and tells good jokes
and insults you and is really amazing. I mean the program is amazing. I mean
Seaman is amazing. Actually, I’m not sure if he’s real or not. This
disc from Sega may be the weirdest thing I’ve ever owned. Well, besides
that 14-inch purple double-ended pocket pussy. Woo-hoo.
Speaking of Jello Biafra,
Live from the Battle in Seattle: The No WTO Combo is the newest disc
from this ex-Dead Kennedy on Alternative Tentacles Records. Besides talking
up a storm on it, which is nothing new for the motormouth of Marin, he plays
in a band with Krist Novoselic from Nirvana and some dude from Soundgarden.
A hippie, no doubt. The cool thing here is they do “Let’s Lynch the
Landlord” and a couple of other tunes, including one called “Full
Metal Jackoff.” I’m glad to see Jello is still up and around and doing
his thing. Especially after his band kicked his ass in court for back royalties.
You go, Jello.
“Is that a monkey or
a chicken singing?” asked Wendy, when I played her the new self-released
Check It Out demo CD by Blown Woofer. I told her it was neither, it was
Tom Gogola. After listening to a few songs with very angular guitars, spazzy
drums and vocals and lyrics regarding elections, Wendy made me turn it off.
While she said she kind of liked the music, she could do without the animal
sounds. P.J., too. He went and lay by the door, covering his ears. I, on the
other hand, really enjoyed the CD, and have listened to it over and over. But
then again, I really like the Jingle Dogs: Christmas Unleashed CD. When
those hounds sing “Oh Christmas Tree” it just makes me howl.
Speaking of singing dogs,
Joe Cocker has a new CD out called No Ordinary World on Eagle Records.
He does a cover of “First We Take Manhattan,” as well as original
tunes like “On My Way Home,” “Soul Rising” and “Different
Roads.” What? He’s not a canine? But Cocker. As in cocker spaniel.
Oh. Well, fuck it then. But he seems as coordinated as a spaniel.
Finally, the Scorpions and
the Berliner Philharmoniker got together and did the album Moment of Glory
for EMI Classics. While it was a good idea when Metallica did it with Michael
Kamen and his pals in San Francisco for their release, S&M, do we
really need a German version with the Scorpions and the Berlin Philharmonic?
Hell yeah! Even if it’s just for the first tune, “Hurricane 2000.”
Here I fucking am. Rock me like a motherfucking hurricane, baby! How you doin’?