Corn Muffin Bump

I have a bump the size of a corn muffin.

I’m certain it’s not fatal. The swelling will go down sooner or later. In the meantime, it keeps me from having to work.

Dottie brought me supper again. The greasiest chicken parm I’ve ever had. I told her how great it was though and how much I appreciated the little missions of mercy even though I’m perfectly capable of ordering take out and she is probably the worst cook in the city. The bump, as muffinific as it is, doesn’t prevent me from getting to the door to pay for Szechwan or Thai or a burger even. It just takes me longer to get there. I can plan for that. I can be by the door well before the delivery boy gets here.

“Don’t be silly child. I won’t have you eating that stuff.”

“Mrs. Wallace, really, I don’t mind.”

“Nonsense. Geoffrey is never home before late evening anymore and it’s nice to be able to cook for someone again.”

Poor Dottie. She is too old, at 63, to be the only person in Chelsea not to realize her husband of decades is gay. She accepts the homosexual community with open arms, just closes her eyes to Geoffrey. I want to ask, because everyone I know wants to ask, how long they’ve had separate rooms, separate beds, separate lives.

“What does Geoffrey do again?”

“Oh dear. What doesn’t he do? He designs clothing and home furnishings and desk tools. He distributes coats to the poor and interior design advice to the elite. He is unstoppably helpful, to the world really.”

Maybe that’s why this particular union works. Dottie, despite being a short old woman with an arsenal of pancake make-up is really a gay young man.

“That sounds nice Dottie.”

“It’s divine. If it weren’t for my asthma I would be hobnobbing with him. Roll over and let’s look at that bump of yours.”

She flips me over as if she were aggressively bowling and rolls the waistband of my pajamas down to my thigh, exposing the bump.

The muffin is on my muffin. It’s a deep puncture wound. A poisonous [domesticated] viper bite partnered to an allergic reaction to the anti-venom punctuated by a shoddy job at intravenous steroid delivery from a half-witted hospital intern who was too afraid to call his resident for help despite poking my ass six times with a needle I’m sure was intended for veterinarian use only. My muffin is sensitive. Dottie has taken it upon herself to inspect it at least once daily.

“Dottie really, you don’t have to-”

“Shush. Don’t be so stupid. It’s looking a little better today maybe. Does it hurt any less?”

I don’t know how to tell her that I’m so high right now from the painkillers left over from wisdom teeth extraction years ago that I could be bleeding out of my eyes and I would only notice the change in color. I tell her the pain is not so bad. She slaps my pants back up and tells me to eat the chicken. I take another few bites as she leaves. When the door clicks I pick up the phone and order pizza.