"Pap Smear" is my least favorite word. Words. Whatever. Pap Shmear makes me feel better. It sounds very Bagel-shopesque. It's fun to say, try it: Pap Shmear. Smear? ECKACKBLEH! I can't even write the word let alone say it.
I always feel a little sad afterward. A little invaded. A wee bit self conscious. And used. I also feel used. I walk a little slower, talk a little lower about the things you cannot show her... (Wait. Am I singing Counting Crows? Somebody please shoot me in the foot. I can't go on!)
Anyway, I always feel a little funny. It didn't make it any easier for me when the nurse sat me down and asked me about my sexual history. She went on to ask the usual questions, similar if not the same as the questions asked before HIV testing. I used to go in for every few months at Out of the Closet, a chain of thrift-stores with HIV testing in the dressing rooms. How convenient! Learn about sexual health while you try on vintage coats!
I answered, like usual, before the nurse very seriously inquired about my symptoms.
"Aren't you here because you think you have chlamydia?"
"GOD No! Jesus H! I'm here for my annual woman-health check-up. I SWEAR! I SWEAR!" Her eyes went wide. "Not that there's anything wrong with the clap," I smiled awkwardly.
"We must have mixed you up with someone else. Sorry."
The nurse handed me a paper gown, and left me to die.
And so I lied there on my back, sad, cold and a very uncomfortable and I waited. I waited to be invaded with cold snapping-objects. I waited to be felt up. I waited for Cervical clamping and I shook.
The doctor knocked, entered the room, said Hello...
...That's when everything went dark. I closed my eyes and went to my happy place. I put my fingers in my ears and went, "la, la, la." I curled my toes in the stirrups and thought of ponies and rainbows. And then bagels. Beautiful bagels. Everything bagels. Shmears for fears! Fruit shmears and lox shmears and light shmears for summer! Then I opened my eyes, forgetting for a moment where I was.
I'm afraid to say that I might never be able to eat a bagel again.