Originally published in Flash Fiction Funny (Blue Light Press, 2013)
I’m pretty sure Nicolas Cage is my gynecologist…
I really am. His nose is a little different, but it’s probably one of those prosthetic molds they use for the movies, so he can get away with it. He’s got the exact head shape, smooth vampire hair, intense eyes, scrunched eyebrow wrinkles, large-lipped open mouth. His height, body, and posture are all spot on — the hunched forward shoulders, long gangly arms. And I would know that voice anywhere, always sounding like there’s a yawn trapped behind it waiting to come out. Only, instead of saying, “I came here to drink myself to death,” he says, “Alright, just relax back. Oh yes, this is a very healthy looking vagina. Okay, now I’m going to put my fingers on you. Do they feel cold? Okay, now I’m going to insert them.” It’s very nerve-wracking to have Nicolas Cage’s fingers inside me.
Every once in a while during the preliminary exam, he has a burst of spastic energy that causes him to launch across the room and intensely run his hand through his hair. When he’s a gynecologist, he behaves a lot more like he did in his old films. There’s a sweet crack in his voice, a criminal twinkle in his eyes, and his movements are enchanting as they shift from energetic spasms to sedated and slouching.
I imagine I’m Kathleen Turner in Peggy Sue Got Married and he’s pacing back and forth in my parents’ basement. “Look, I’ve got the hair. I’ve got the teeth. I’ve got the eyes. Peggy, look outside that window. I’ve got the car. I’m the lead singer. I’m the man.” He is convincing and I almost fall for him, but then I realize he is actually flipping through my chart and asking me what kind of birth control I use. I can hardly answer I’m so distracted by his presence. I want to tell him I’m barren, a rocky place where his seed can find no purchase. I want him to do impossibly sweet things for me like climb up ladders and steal babies.
There’s a hint of frozen sadness in his expression, something gray in the skin and frightened behind his eyes. I wonder if it’s because of all the horrible movies he’s done in the last ten years and how obvious it is that they were just for the money. I want to hug him and tell him it’s okay — that he redeemed himself in Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans. That we can forget about Ghost Rider now and move on.
When he’s got his two fingers pressing against my fallopian tubes, his eyebrows say it all. They shift smoothly, the skin in between them rising and falling. His face tilts slightly to one side and his lower lip drops down, pausing in that second before speech in the way only he can, holding it still for what feels like an eternity.
His eyes are soft and shining as they look at me over my spread gown-covered legs. They make me giggle because of their sincerity. This causes awkwardness for him, like he is suddenly aware that I know who he is, the façade of being a doctor has vanished, and now he is just a famous actor with his fingers deep inside a random woman’s vaginal cavity. He diverts his vision, pulls out, and slaps his latex glove off and into the trash in one fell swoop with a quick hop to the other side of the room. He starts to mumble, shuffle, and stutter, “I… I… I have to go grab the speculum.” His tone is mysterious and breathy, with hints of unnecessary apology, like the self-conscious Charlie Kaufman in Adaptation.
When he comes back he has collected himself, but he is rushing. He no longer makes eye contact with me. He seems anxious, like when he woke from the dream about how he had unleashed the lone biker of the apocalypse after Florence Arizona found her little Nathan gone, but he dives back in anyway. He jams the tool far up inside and clicks it shut on the nose end of my cervix. It’s pinching and burning as he uses the long, slender swab to collect enough slime to test.
I try to say something to show him that I’m okay with who he is, that I don’t need a real gynecologist, an actor is fine with me, but then he is gone, taking my pap smear with him.