What the Brightest Minds Say

One man searches for straightforward answers to an ever-changing conversation

by Corey Saucier

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I’m in the hospital again. I say again, because I am always in the hospital. Well not always, but often enough. I’ve had hip surgery, breast reduction, umbilical hernias, and tons and tons of butt stuff. At this point it’s really no big deal. So I’m in the hospital again, this time it’s for something to do with the kidneys….And I’m hooked up to an IV, and they have put iodine in my blood, and they are measuring something about my output every few hours; and I am dressed in one of those backwards flower-patterned blue robes—that is only half a robe—because your butt is always out….And I’m almost naked except for the robe, my socks, and a pair of cute Andrew Christian underwear—because I ALWAYS wear cute underwear; especially if I know somehow someone may see my bottom. And plus, hospitals are the best place to find cute doctors to marry. And believe me I love to flirt with cute doctors! Mostly the slightly overweight, socially awkward ones, because that’s sort of my type (not that I have a type,) but also, they are the ones who tend to make the most eye contact. And the brightest minds say that connection is about contact. And they give me tons of bare eye-to-eye contact. Maybe I’m their type too.

So me and this overweight mildly awkward doctor are shooting the Shih Tzu: chewing the fat and passing the time with light flirty conversation. And he is tired. There is something about him that seems worn down, totally inappropriate, and unguarded in a way that physicians rarely are. So the conversation is moving easily and freely; and I’m bragging about how good of a bottom I am; and he blushes, and laughs a deep warm heterosexual chuckle…pauses…and then looks me directly in my eyes and asks: “How good are you?”

And it’s my turn to blush….All of the highest minds say that the brightest minds say that connection is about contact: eye contact, physical contact, and social contact. You have to meet people at their level, and connect in some fundamental way. He and I had a dirty sense of humor; and we bonded over that.

The nurses are coming in and out—checking things—and measuring things: Touching me on my arm, and shoulder, and forehead—and comforting pats just above the knee—all the while giving scalding glances at the doctor. And the televisions is playing some morning talk show up in the corner; the way hospital televisions do—and the chunky, charming-eyed doctor is obviously just here to observe the research, because he hasn’t gotten out of his seat once since I’ve been here. And he isn’t paying the nurses’ criticism no mind; because he is tired, or distracted, or maybe something happened at home last night that shifted his personal priorities… but whatever the reason, he is more real than I have ever seen any man in a lab coat. And he and I are flirting, and making off-color jokes, and trying our hardest to make the other blush.

And after an hour of this, I eventually build up the courage to ask him the one question that I really want to ask him, because when am I ever going to get a doctor that is this human again? Plus, he and I are friends now: We’ve already exchanged first names, and I’ve pulled down my cute Andrew Christian underwear to show him the hip surgery scar across my right butt cheek—and he’s told me that “your ass looks great, it’s almost like it’s never been touched.” And I’ve fired back, “Oh it’s been touched; it’s been touched plenty!” Both of us are blushing and making eye contact, and looking away, and making eye contact again.

All of the brightest minds that research the highest minds say that the brightest minds need contact to build connection: eye contact for trust, physical contact for love, social contact for community, and sexual contact for “all of the above.”

So I ask him the question that I’ve been wanting to ask, “What’s the deal with condoms? Are people really using them? I don’t know anyone who actually uses the things; but that is all you doctors talk about.”

He winces, and shakes his shaggy head; looks to see if there are any nurses around, and says, “It’s my experience that none of my clients are using them either. Barebacking is pretty much ubiquitous among the men that I see. And I get it. I don’t use them myself. I get it.” He says again, “But luckily the conversations are changing right? It’s not all we talk about any more. Well, it’s not all I talk about….”

So much of the human condition is about connecting with other human beings; and in order to connect we need contact. And luckily we have found hundreds of hundreds of ways to connect—and to protect ourselves from those connections—but the brightest and highest minds still say that a human being cannot survive without skin to skin contact.


 

Corey Saucier is an artist and writer living in Los Angeles. He is a Lambda Literary Fellow in Fiction and Non-Fiction and is currently penning his first novel. His musings and wanderings on Love, Life, and Nonsense can be found at www.justwords.tumblr.com.