Last week I found a suspicious mole on my side, which I knew was malignant. What else could it be? Everything's going swimmingly; therefore, I am dying. That's logic. Or is it irony?
Scott and I were watching television when I found it. I don't know why I was feeling myself up. Clearly the television wasn't entertainment enough. I had developed this scabby, crusty thing on my side a few months ago, and then I forgot about it--if only she had taken care of it when it was first discovered, she might have had a chance--and there I was on the couch and I revisited the mole and it was significantly larger and crustier. "Holy crap, I'm dying," I told Scott. "Look."
He looked. "I'm sure you're not dying," he said.
"How do you know I'm not dying? Do you have a medical degree? Can you positively tell me this isn't cancer? Don't lie to a dying woman."
"If you're so worried," he suggested, "go see a dermatologist."
I knew he would say that. We've been married ten years, and he's become so predictable, with his calmness and his rationality. It's unbearable. But it was 9 p.m., and I needed answers. I needed answers right then and there.
"The Internet!" I cried. "The Internet will provide reassurance!"
"Alice, do not," Scott commanded. "No. Don't. No google. This will not end well."
I opened my laptop.
"Stop it. Close the laptop. This is just going to scare you. Stop."
"You don't understand. This time the Internet will provide useful information. I am sure of it."
"No. The Internet will only give you lies and panic. Stop."
But I googled, people. I googled the shit out of this mole. Scott feebly protested but I kept it up—I googled "crusty mole" and "mole that peels" and "mole that's suddenly larger and also I just moved and I'm almost 40 and never had a skin check and my name is Alice Bradley please tell me I'm not dying." I googled and I googled and I googled some more.
And the Internet told me that I was almost certainly nearing death. It was too late for me. I was not long for this world.
"I guarantee you're fine," Scott kept saying.
How does he know? the Internet asked. He's just trying to shut you up so he can go back to watching his show. Which, by the way, is nearing cancellation. I can tell you all about that, if you just google. Stick with me, you poor dying creature. I know everything.
"You must marry again," I wept all over Scott's shoulder. "Promise me."
"Oh my god, you are so insane," he answered.
He's going to regret saying that when he knows the truth. The truth that I have shared with you. There is no space/time on the Internet. I know all and see all.
I went to sleep that night knowing that I might not wake up the next day, but then I did, which was nice. I made an appointment with a dermatologist because I'm crazy but not that crazy. The bottom line is that I am whiter than anyone, and I should have started having my skin checked years ago. And now she would go for her skin check, only to discover that it was Too Late.
Only it wasn't too late. The dermatologist looked at the mole and declared that it was nothing, or rather that it was something but an insignificant something, some kind of keratosis something-or-other.
"I hate to tell you how to do your job," I told him, "but if you'll just google this, I think you'll see that it's quite serious indeed."
Then he started bragging about his experience and his medical degrees, I don't know, I wasn't listening. It was sinking in: I wasn't going to die after all? What? Scott didn't have to marry again?
"So you're telling me I don't have cancer?" I said, and he said that's right, you're fine, but come in every six months because you're crazy-pale and your family history is etc. and also SPF whatever everyday and broad-brimmed hats blar de blar.
And when I ran outside to call Scott to tell him he didn't need to look for a potential wife I was mowed down by an out-of-control delivery truck carrying a shipment of high-SPF sunscreen.
Well, no, I wasn't. But if I had, that would have been irony.