A lovely, lovely sunny day here today, 70s and perfect. My plan to take the dog for a nice walk down to the lake, OF COURSE, was thwarted because even if it is sunny the black cloud of HA HA follows me, even if it may be invisible to others. My problem? My issue, you ask? Oh, just the minor inconvenience of a SUDDEN RAGING URINARY TRACT INFECTION, IS ALL.

Let me describe this for you, if you have never been so blessed with one. Imagine you go to take a regular pee. Then imagine that when you pee, it feels like BURNING FIRE LAVA FROM SATAN'S INNER SANCTUM OF EXTRA-SPECIAL HELL. Your toes fall off and your brain crackles and and even if you are the Pope or even the Pope's Mom, you go, "HOLY SHIT MOTHERFUCK ASS DICK! WHAT THE HELL IS THIS?" Then, after the excruciating fire urine is done, leaving your urethra feeling like it's been on the grill, you look to see that you have in fact peed out what looks like an entire bottle of Ocean Spray Cranberry Juice. OH GREAT. JUST GREAT.

Because the world is stupid, I can't just call up my doctor's office or the pharmacy and say YEAH, THIS SHIT AGAIN and have them give me the antibiotics and pain-relievers that I need to patch together my shattered psyche. No, I have to GO IN. My doctor and her PA are never available on such short notice, this I know, so when I call into the practice I am already ready to do battle with the receptionist. I HAVE NEEDS. STOP FIRE PLEASE NOW. My lucky day; someone can see me at 2:20PM. I hop in the shower, cringing every few seconds, get dressed and head over. Because I am extremely cool and all strong like bull you would never guess to see me, dressed in brown cargo shorts and a tie-dye t-shirt, rocking the shades and impudent pink purse, that I am in AIEEEE mode. No, I look all casual, reading a magazine in the waiting room, when if I were only strong like, oh say, calf, I would be hopping around from foot to foot (or hoof to hoof) and screaming, "AAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!" No, I will read an article about antiquing at London's famous Portobello Market instead, and wait for my name to be called.

"Mhreuhn?" A nurse in chartreuse-green scrubs with a heavy Russian accent opens the door and smiles at me. I don't even care if she doesn't mean me; I am taking this appointment. She asks me to step on the scale, and I have a moment of inner YES! when it reads a couple pounds less then my scale at home. Sweet. Ow. She directs me to Exam Room 14, opens a laptop, asks me why I am there, gives the appropriate compassionate face when I tell her, then takes my temp and blood pressure. Then it is time to pee in a cup. She points me to the bathroom where an extremely-graphic representation of HOW TO PEE IN A CUP is plastered on the handtowel dispenser. I want to say, "Yeah, lady, I know how to do a clean catch, I'm a professional, but DAMN these sketches of genitals and urine are skeeving me RIGHT OUT." But I smile and nod instead.

Grab cup. Name write on with Sharpie. Sit. Wipe with wipe. FIRE PISS IN CUP. Note darkening hue of fire piss and wince. Wipe, flush, shorts on, put cup in Magic Pee Cup Door, wash hands, back to Exam Room 14 to sit on the table and read more about new elaborate hotels in Europe and China and South Africa that I will never stay in.

The doctor comes in, with a rap on the door preceding him. He is an Asian man, and looks to be about 15 years old. I realize this perception will just keep happening to me as I get older. He opens his laptop and quizzes me as well:

Young Asian Doctor: Any pain or urgency?

Me: Well, yeah. Heh.

YAD: Fever? Pain in kidney?

Me: No. I feel fine otherwise.

YAD: Hmm. There's a lot of blood in your urine.

Me: Eeeyup.

YAD: No pain in the kidneys, huh?

Me: No. None.

YAD: Hmm. Lie back for a second.

He prods my kidneys and stomach, and I tell him it is not uncomfortable. I do not add that, well, I don't exactly like have a stranger prod me with fingers and if we were on the street I would hit you for doing that and yell loudly, something like HEY WTF ARE YOU DOING? That is unnecessary information. As a Professional Patient, I am knowing it is mostly best to shut up and just get your drugs.

He is still skeptical and wants me to come back in a couple of weeks to pee again. I say, oh OK, and also please give me a scrip for pyridium as well as the Cipro, thanks. He sends the medicine request directly from his laptop to my local Walgreens and dismisses me for the day. My poorly-designed excretory system and I walk to the car and drive up to the OOGCP. It is still sunny and warm, and pain and urgency be damned, I am getting an Iced Latte and a sandwich while I wait for the prescriptions to be filled.

I sit outside with my stuff, legs stretched out on a second chair, and I read a recent issue of Rolling Stone. It has some interesting content, and my focus is taken off my predicament for a few minutes. A young fuzzy haired man is sitting with his girl at the table next to me. He has a laptop and a MIDI keyboard and is apparently composing something while she texts and giggles. Another man in a backwards baseball cap to my left looks so much like someone I know, I triple-take him. A man using a walker goes by with his latte. A large yellow schoolbus from the toniest private school on the Eastside drops a student off at Starbucks across the street. Only in Seattle-ish.

I stay until I think I should probably head home, get the drugs, and then write on the internet about my UTI. 2009 is really shaping up, huh?