3 min

Depressed testes

Will gets his first scrotal ultrasound

Credit: Xtra West photo

The dust-grey lips, stirred with their lugubrious purpose, angled upward to Will Gray and said: “Scrotal ultrasound?”

And the owner of these same lips, a receptionist at St Paul’s hospital, waited patiently for the reply.

“Er, yes,” said Will, looking back at some overly attentive patients. An elderly woman, fixed with a formidable goitre, stared dolefully back, her eyes dilated and wet.

“You’re late,” the receptionist noted, displeased with this breach in the daybook. “You can undress behind that curtain.”

“Do I take my underwear off, too?”

“Not yet. Just the pants.” It was to be a striptease, then.

Will blushed his way behind the curtain, shimmied out of his Levis, and stared down at his depressed, throbbing, testes. Surely they were bigger than that? Normally. He administered a slight jiggling, to inspire blood-flow, and wrestled his way into an unbecoming smock.

The wait (opposite Goitre plus Goitre’s Keeper) ended with the entrance of a 30-something man in blue scrubs coming round the waiting area. Head shaved, jaw stubbled, the open inches of his shirt promising sound, comforting musculature. And Old Spice. Oh please, oh please, oh please.

“William Gray?”

“Yes.” Only it came out like he’d won a prize.

“Hi. This way. Merry Christmas.”

“Sure,” said Will, torn between the everyday dread of testicular examination and a lusty anticipation of having his genitals played with by a good-looking stranger.

“Have you had an ultrasound before?” They reached a tiny, white room.

“No, this is my first.” Ultrasound virgin, thought Will. I am so helpless and vulnerable. Oh, great technician, be gentle, be kind! “Do I keep my glasses on?”

“It’s not your eyes I’m interested in,” came the matter-of-fact reply.

“Oh,” muttered Will, “right.” Stupid, really. He removed his glasses anyway, so as to stream-line his body in a manner befitting a future chemo-patient, he figured.

“I’ll ask you to pull down your shorts, then, and hop up on the table.” The ultrasound man-Will searched for a name-tag in vain-was fiddling with a large, stuttering clunk of machine, quite transparently related to HAL.

The technician failed to notice Will’s Perry Ellis briefs, purchased specially for the occasion, which proved greatly disappointing. Nor did he exclaim, upon glimpsing Will’s testes, “My, what pendulous fruit you yield!”

When the guy reached over to dim the room’s lights, Will’s head cocked in the style of a confused Jack Russell. Was that professional? Was that normal? Or, rather, was this guy-who, come to think of it, may have locked the door-now going to strip, himself, and perhaps then force himself (oh please!) upon Will’s vulnerable person?

But no. Nameless Ultrasound Guy benignly propped a towel beneath the balls, got Will to hold his own cock out of the way, and squeezed a warm (not unpleasant) gel onto the offending bulbs.

“Bear down for me,” said the technician, and Will felt something hard press upon him.

Will wanted to do what he was told-the situation being intimate yet studious, sexy yet grave. Still, he hadn’t a clue what bearing down meant. In a half-hearted attempt to fake it, he shuffled a few inches down the table.

“No, no,” fussed the man, pushing him back with one (strong, muscle-corded) arm. “Like you’re having a bowel movement. Bear down. Flex.”

Right. And what if he did, in fact, shit on the operating table? Bear down? Try to shit? Was this man even supposed to be in here? Was he a doctor or some habitué of a lesser rung? They should tattoo doctors on the forehead so one can tell if a trickster just wants to touch your balls for free.

The exam was over just as Will forgot what was happening; and then it was the waiting, alone, that hurt. You can die waiting for test results.

But nothing came of it. The nameless man returned, darting a glance at Will’s gel-drenched mid-bits, now withered with exposure, and relayed the happy, tumour-free news. Was it disappointment, then, he initially felt? A thwarted desire for drama?

Exhaling, Will became cognizant of his nakedness, and blushed a thank-you.

“That’s it?” he asked the dusty woman at reception.

She smiled, showing decades of matronly comfort, now an automated but efficient breed of care, and murmured “Yes, that’s it. Happy Holidays. And Mr Gray?”


“It is important, in the future, to arrive on time. There is a schedule.”

Exiting, Will stole a glance at the elderly woman, ripe goitre heaving gently in her sleep. She had dozed off, still waiting her turn. He passed rooms of less hopeful patients. Nuclear Medicine, Radiology.

He followed a painted line along the hospital floor to an exit. And his cell phone, left behind at the old Mole Hill apartment, flashed red and green with a message from his mother: “When will you be home for Christmas?”