I guess I first noticed the rash a few weeks ago.

There was an itch on the back of my left calf that felt a little too good when I scratched it.

I don’t know if you’ve ever had some kind of skin thing before, but trust me- there’s a different between the usual got an itch kind of itches and the ones that are there for other reasons. Take now, for instance. You’re reading this and you’ve probably got a little itch on your nose or maybe the back of your neck just because you’re reading about itches. Go ahead. Scratch it.

Felt okay, right? Slight discomfort. Then relief. Ahh.

During my funny little time in the Air Force, I met a fellow who had athlete’s foot and would not treat it. He said it just felt so goood to get home and really scratch it. The audience he had when he explained this recoiled in a chorus of schoolgirl “Ewwwwwww”s, but he was unfazed. He got a light in his eyes and he talked about how awfully, shamefully good it felt to scratch his feet when he got home. Uncomfortable chuckles and shuffles and a few faux light-hearted “Man, that’s sick”s and conversation turned elsewhere. Anywhere but there.

An indeterminate time later, I contracted it myself.

At first I didn’t realize what it was. Never having been much of an athlete or gym goer of any variety, I was rarely exposed to the conditions that one associates with the bastards. The showers in the dorms fixed that for me after awhile, I guess. All I know is my feet really started to itch and I kind of understood the way the condition is depicted in commercials. It was a terrible, fiery itch. I made a note to myself to pick up a treatment of some sort the next day and I’d put a stop to it.

Whatever I tried first didn’t work right away.

After a day or four of trying different solutions, I got home one day and started scratching. I found that I could not scratch deeply enough. I wanted to somehow insert a wire brush inside my foot and just wiggle that around for a bit. There’s kind of a maniacal thing going on when scratching an itch like that. And just when I thought I was kind of starting to hurt myself, there was a bright light and a sensation I cannot describe as anything other than the weird cousin of erogenous. It felt goood.

Now, I’ve got a theory about this. And like any theory that gets presented like that, it’s a little crazy sounding. But it works with my little view of the world and I think we all like having our suspicions confirmed. The good ones, anyway. If you suspect there is a man behind you pointing a loaded gun, you are thoroughly relieved when you turn to find a friend holding out a cold beer. I think I’ll have to save talk of theories for some other time, though. My meandering license won’t let me drift quite that far just yet. For now I will inform you that I finally put the bugs down and mostly forgot about the whole episode except for every once in awhile when seeing an ad for some spray or powder or whatever.

So about that rash on the back of my left calf.

I scratched an itch and it felt better than usual. But not the kind of better that I was just talking about. I just needed to explain what goood scratching felt like so that I could let you know that this just felt marginally better than a regular itch. So it was like, different, but it didn’t set off an alarm. Sometimes a thing just happens and then it goes away. I know I’m not the only guy with this approach to physical ailments. Got a cough? Wait a bit- it will go away. Cut your finger a little deeper than a person oughta? Eh, keep it clean and keep an eye on it. Tiny little dry patch on my leg and a tiny bit of itching? No need to flip out. It might just get okay. Besides, there’s anything else to do besides go to the fricking doctor over this.

And what if the doctor said something horrible anyway? Well, I know that’s the first step to treatment, but yeesh.

A friend of mine has psoriasis flare ups once in awhile. He has to put this expensive cream on the spots which happen to be on his feet and he seems pretty embarrassed about it all. Which I’ve never gotten, because if I’m your friend and we’re hanging out and you’ve got a cough I’m not going to get all fussy if you take some cough medicine. Sure, one isn’t usually applying salves or whatever to their feet in polite company, but there’s no need for worlds of decorum when you’re hanging out with real friends. Let your flag fly, I say. Treat your ailment, comrade! Unless you need to jerk your boxers in weird angles in order to treat it. Then you can just take that to another room.

In my family, there seems to be a running theme of bumping into tiny bits of skin cancer. It’s always been benign, so that’s good. Well, you know. I mean, good would be not having anything. But if you’ve got to have it, I presume you want the benign kind. It just sounds so much… nicer.

A month or two ago one of our dogs got a touch of ringworm. I was surprised to have Matt Groening’s words confirmed when I found out that ringworm is neither a ring nor a worm, but actually a fungus. A few weeks of treatments and she’s back to her normal bitchy self.

So I’ve got all this kicking around as far as the leg thing goes. Oh, sorry. Legs thing. Because now it’s in a matching position on my right calf. Could it be psoriasis? I hope not! The name has a nice ring to it so long as you don’t think about what it means. Of course. And it goes without saying that cancer of any disposition would not be welcome on my person. And I think I’ve got enough of a grasp on english that I don’t relish the idea of harboring a fungus named ringworm.

Going by nomenclature alone, athlete’s foot was starting to sound pretty good. It at least implied that I pursue an active, healthy lifestyle of athleticism and also of having feet. Like just about all normal, decent, church-going folk do.

These are my options. And between work and the other things people fill their time with and trying to get a little enjoyment in on the weekends well, having a stranger look me in the eye and dub me Sir Scott, host of any of these things just didn’t seem like the sort of thing I’d like to do. So I just kept backburnering the whole concept.

The other night I noticed a new dry spot on my left hip, right square between the belt line and the upper thigh. I thought about it for a little bit and then thought about something else.

This morning the newest addition was spotted.

J is my heart and my backup conscience and many other things to me. I live in a tastefully appointed apartment because of her eyes. And the wrongness of the situation was made crystal clear by those same eyes.

Whoops.

It didn’t take long for her to come up with several questions about that spot. Good questions. The kinds of questions a person asks when they’re on the outside. Questions like:

What is that?

Does it hurt?

Does it itch?

How long has it been there?

Where do you think it came from?

Is it anywhere else?

How long has it been there?

Haven’t you thought about seeing a doctor about that?

And damn if after a little bit of this I didn’t get a little snappy. I’ve been quietly fretting about this in my way for a couple weeks now, after all. So I gave a little fuss and realized that wasn’t bright. I tried to apologize and acknowledge her concern when I was informed that her main concern was that I hadn’t already seen a doctor about it.

Ugh.

Guys don’t go to the doctor unless a thing is falling off. And I’m not a guy guy. I’ll never be hosting a Super Bowl party or a poker night. I’ll buy some tampons if asked and I won’t fuss about it. But I’m probably not running to the doctor right away over an itchy spot.

But I do need to.

This obviously isn’t going away on its own so I need to find out what it is so that I can show it the door.

I’ve got an appointment next week. I’m looking into it.