The Clubs We Don’t Want To Belong To:
When I was 24 I had to go for a follow-up to my breast exam. The doctor had found a mass. He sent to me a specialist. I sat in the waiting room. I sat for a long time. It was uncomfortably quiet. The room was filled solely with women. All somber. As I dared to raise my head and gaze around the room to look upon my fellow victims, I saw women of all types though I was clearly the youngest. And the women would be called into the doctor’s office; some would come out quietly and leave; some would come out in tears; some would come out openly sobbing. All of us in the waiting room would sit there as if at the bottom of the guillotine post. No one wanted to look at each other as if we might catch the awful cancer the other might have. And yet, we all belonged to the same club…the club of ‘what if’…a club we did not sign up for or want to join, a club none of us would own up to belonging to. Someone’s name was called, and none of us would have the courage to meet the eyes of the woman rising to leave the group to enter the doctor’s room. I hated that club. I wanted to flee. But I had to wait. I had to wait for my number.
And I have tremor. An uncontrollable shaking of the hands. It started in elementary school with mild symptoms. The symptoms became more pronounced each decade starting in my 20’s and now that I’m in my 50’s there are times I need to take a valium to write legibly. I was in nail salon last week. I could overhear a woman in her 60’s talking to the manicurist;she was very cheerful and pleasant. When she stood next to me by the cashier to pay, I saw her hands tremble uncontrollably so much so that she had to ask the manicurist to take the bills out of her wallet. No,no, no. I do not want to belong to this club. Yet I am relegated to it. Tremor is a condition that progresses with age. I know this is my fate lest I take so much valium the manicurist has to do my nails while I am asleep and pay herself whatever she likes. No, I do not want to belong to this club.
I was never the type to join clubs. I don’t want to now.