Friday, December 7, 2007

Bringing on the heartache...

The old guy sat next to me and said, "If you want to avoid prostate trouble, you ought to get yourself a girlfriend."

I looked over, as I was driving, but didn't say anything.

"That's what a doctor told me back in 69," he said. "After I lost m'first wife. I'd gone in to a doctor, a urologist I think, for some tests. He said that if you had regular sexual activity, you didn't have much to worry about with the prostate. Slim to none, really. The guys at the cancer support group said the same thing. It was really only a problem when you suddenly stopped for one reason or another. Now doctors today, I've talked to, don't say that, but the guys at the support group say, 'yes.'"

"Well," I laughed. "I guess I could see the point."

"He told me I should go out and get a girlfriend."

I nodded.

"O'course what did I know about what you were supposed to do to get a girlfriend? I'd been married a long time, just lost my wife and I didn't go much to bars. He said I could take matters into my own hand --which I'd stopped when I was about seven-- or I could stop by his office about once a week. I could pay him ten dollars --this was about 1970, right-- and he could jam his finger up my ass."

I laughed. The guy was in his eighties and had the usual aura of grandfatherliness. I don't recall ever discussing sexual health with either of my grandfathers, but they died while I was fairly young. It just didn't come up. Mostly, we talked about... hell, I have no idea, but not the prostate gland.

"So, get a girlfriend if you want to avoid prostate problems."

I dropped him off at his door. I'd been feeling rather bitter and angry all morning, had been fuming in the car on the drive to pick the old guy up. We'd had a pleasant drive down to the hospital, but after I'd dropped him off, I'd gone for a short drive to grumble to myself a bit more. I turned the car around, went back to work and couldn't stop laughing.

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