“Said the Colonoscopist to the Parakeet, on Christmas Eve,” by Olivia Kate Cerrone

Dec 19th, 2012 | By | Category: Fake Nonfiction, Prose

Consider the asshole. Now I’m not talking about that pesky micromanager at work or your impossible-to-please mother, I’m talking about that indispensable void between your nether regions that so often goes underappreciated. Much like myself these days I’m afraid. But as a proctologist, rated number one in Palm Beach County according to a 1998 edition of the Jewish Senior Advocate, assholes, particularly the unhealthy ones, is what I butter my bread with. For I am in the business of maintaining the state of your rectum. No, not your anus, Princess, my fine-feathered Budgie. Believe me when I say it, what a joy it is to seldom see your asshole. Even if I pried apart your tidy green feathers, I doubt I’d come across it so easily. There’s only one woman for me these days, Princess and at least your squawking won’t bring on another migraine.

So it’s Christmas Eve tonight, and here I am once again, alone and slurping up greasy lo mein noodles, before rubbing one out to Me Luv U Long Time 4 starring the delectable Katsuni at her finest. You’d think that when you’re pushing fifty, you’d finally be immune to those old holiday blues, especially when you also happen to be Jewish, twice-divorced, and hardened by the unending sight of unsightly bottoms. What’s Kris Kringle got on me?

But it’s Christmas, not Chanukah or the ever sobering Yom Kippur, that inspires this gnawing suspicion that perhaps I really have wasted my life. Perhaps I should pack an overnight bag and leave on the next flight for Maui. But then I think of my patients. Always do I think of my patients. There’s a whole crowd of them waiting for me tomorrow, yes, believe it or not, on Christmas Day itself. For years it’s been like this. You would not believe the amount of business I get on Christmas. And why? Perhaps somehow they feel less embarrassed visiting on this rather than another day, or do they look forward to escaping to my clinic, where at least there is no relentless holiday muzak? Perhaps they really just don’t have anything better to do. Regardless, it’s almost heartwarming to see the hoards of lonely Babyboomers honoring their long-awaited appointments with me. What’s Christmas for them without their annual colonoscopy?

They didn’t always have this luxury. Before, a lifetime ago it seems, I refused to do anything more on the 25th of December than entertain my daughter, Elsa. She was the silver lining of my second marriage, and due to her mother, Lucia’s Italian heritage, demanded that we celebrate both Christmas and Chanukah, so as to maximize her gift potential, and also her father’s credit cards. But to hear her laughter, that piercing squeal of pure delight, was enough to mitigate whatever stress competed for her attention.

Those were the happiest moments of my life.

Then came adolescence, and with its onslaught of insecurities and pettiness, emerged in my Elsa, the angry Vegan stage, which was later eclipsed with the same nauseating degree of self-righteousness, by the stage of hungry materialism. Just this morning, she texted, reminding me about the new iPhone, which outside of keeping up with friends, allows her to access such essentials as the latest Angry Birds app and the glue of our society: Facebook.

How did it come to this, Princess? Was I a pork-loving Nazi in a past life? How did my life become compartmentalized into such lonely nights of Asian porn and greasy noodles or days spent screening strangers for colon cancer, while administering the occasional hemorrhoid treatment? Has Love and all its many splendors really given up on me?

The matter of my ex-wives is a tricky one. Ruthie, the first, was a nice Jewish girl from Miami, who came to me, convinced that she was already dying from cancer. I inflated her colon with air and readied my endoscope for a thorough examination. Afterwards, as she awoke in the recovery room, woozy and full of gas, I decided to make her my wife. I have to admit it wasn’t exactly love at first sight, but I was thirty-five and lonely. The only sure thing waiting for me at home was the two hundred thousand dollars I’d accumulated in medical school debt.

The most passionate thing about our marriage was our divorce. Her condition, IBS with constipation, determined the frequency of our intimacy, which was never. To initiate sex with Ruthie meant to impose havoc upon her delicate bowels. I learned to pound it out in the shower, lest I was ready to spend another night listening to her intestinal tooting.

Lucia, my second wife, whose moods ranged from psychotic to hysterical, made crazy look good. I admit: even now I long to see her in that black lace negligee. And yes, I miss the blowjobs. But alas, my patience failed to endure the scary funhouse that was her mental state.

Wife #1 was too cold, wife #2 was too hot, and even if wife #3 might be just right, I’d rather be mauled by a family of bears than indulge in another porridge of marital dysfunction.

But what of the daughter? Elsa, who is currently partying her way through what I can only imagine to be rigorous academic studies in child care management at Florida State University, is her mother’s daughter in a way that only snakes can appreciate. The ratio of the sweet attention that Elsa pays me is all too often in direct correlation to how much money she’s looking to borrow. These days I simply don’t pick up the phone. She must know by now how busy her old physician father is. I can’t help but compare my role in the progression of our father-daughter relationship as no more than a piece of hearty nourishment, slowly consumed, with my resources absorbed, the rest discarded. Our years together wrap around my memory like the cords of an intestinal track. And how has it left me at the end of it?

I am a pile of shit.

Despair teaches you things, Princess. For one, I know that I am most in my element when I get to part one’s cheeks and snake my endoscope through the entirety of a large intestine. For another, I know that this unrelenting gloom is here to stay. Perhaps it goes with the territory of my chosen vocation. Want to know the profession rated most likely to kill themselves? I beat out dentists by 46%.

But then I think of my patients, awaking in the recovery room as they pass gas, and the look of added relief that overcomes their expectant faces, when I tell them how I’ve detected nothing suspicious. They’re free from colon cancer. At least this time.

That much helps keep the kvetching in check. After all it’s the holidays, a season of giving, and I must give of myself on this, the holiest of goyim days, in the name of good will and rectal health. For I provide a service and I provide it well.

So Merry Christmas, Princess. Merry Christmas, Katsuni. Merry Christmas, world, and to all a good night.


Defenestration-Generic Female 01Olivia Kate Cerrone earned an MFA in creative writing from New York University. Her fiction has appeared or is forthcoming in a wide variety of literary journals, including New South, War, Literature & the Arts, The Portland Review, JewishFiction.net, VIA: Voices in Italian Americana, Word Riot, and 3:AM Magazine. She was recently awarded writing residencies by the VCCA, the Jentel Foundation, the Vermont Studio Center, and the Kimmel Harding Center for the Arts, among others. Contact her at Olivia.Cerrone@gmail.com or visit her at   http://www.oliviacerrone.com/

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