Saturday 13th August 2011

by Megan Beth Koester

“This is a research study comparing two spermicidal products, the experimental Amphora gel and the FDA approved Conceptrol vaginal gel. Spermicide is a method of birth control that prevents pregnancy by killing sperm.”

My body kills sperm more effectively than any spermicide, FDA approved or experimental, ever could. Indeed, my ability to suck the life out of men, both figuratively and literally, defies all scientific logic. I’ve been told (by a medical doctor, natch) that I am infertile; as I’ve never felt the warm, parasitic suckling of an embryo in my womb I’m inclined to accept this as an undisputable truth. The fact that I am infertile, however, isn’t a matter of public knowledge – that being the case, I can still exploit my pseudo-fertility for fun and profit. This diseased, dishonest logic has led me to a nondescript medical building off of Wilshire Boulevard where I’ve been promised a cool $120 for some paperwork and a simple pelvic exam. The waiting room is filled with elderly Korean women – they’re just as barren as I am, but they earned it. I didn’t. I walk through the hallway to the exam room feeling like I won the lottery – I’ve won a lottery of sorts, one that continues to pay tangible and abstract dividends. There’s only one problem, though. I know I’ll fail my pelvic exam.

An antibiotic I took a week ago gave me a yeast infection, which I’m still nursing. The fluid emanating from my most tender of regions is a stream, not a flood, but still impossible to ignore. I’m certain the doctor will find me out. As I repeatedly lie on my paperwork (Have I taken an antibiotic recently? No. Am I experiencing any discomfort in my pelvic region? No.), my anxiety overwhelms me. You think you’re so fucking clever, I tell myself. How are you gonna con your way out of this one, Ponzi?

The paperwork’s filled out and the exam pre-party has begun. I’m lead into a cluttered room occupied by an elderly Korean gentleman wearing a nametag that reads, simply, “Mr. Kim.” Mr. Kim has covered his walls with photocopied pages from Spanish dictionaries; not only is he ESL, he’s SSL. Thinking about how frustrating his life must be, I feel something akin to empathy for him – that is, until he forcefully jams a needle into my vein. As a phlebotomist, Mr. Kim is mediocre at best. My arm throbs as it bleeds into the bandage that he haphazardly slaps on it. Mr. Kim’s work is done, but mine isn’t. It’s time for the exam.

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