Melanoma but non cancerous. That was what struck me as fortuitous when i recalled the events of that night. I was glad that he had not contracted something cancerous and that the tests results instilled hope. I am usually cynical enough to accept that life is unpredictable and also practical enough to conceal shock at anything startling. This has earned me a reputation of callousness though getting hot and bothered about what one can never know the outcome of seems like giving too much air time to the arbitrary.
At the time however when i saw that patch of skin then i recall a cavalcade of jumbled associations. His upper shoulder , with its fine stippling of dark hairs, had a purple patch. My first thought was that he had bumped into something or been punched brutally. The feeling i had , at a distance of vision, was of clotted, thickened , purplish blood. I ran my fingers over the spot , expecting that curded lumpiness but found , instead , grainy , sandy speckles of skin dotted purple. The touch felt abrasive, raspy as i flattened my palm over it. A furred sussuration thrilled me. On closer inspection i saw, through rather unaesthetic insight, a patchwork threading of daubs of pinpointed purple striating each particle of skin. The patch showed a circular streaking that felt both a part of his integument as an extrusion. The light brown healthy skin intensified my feeling of incongruity as i glanced, again and again, at this aureole , both encrusted with spottiness yet attenuated and spattered than plastered.
I felt sickened. I felt gorge rising in me . He told me calmly that it was a recent outgrowth but harmless. I smelt him , the faint aftershave and his earthy scent . Smells are equivalent to fetishes for me and as i inhaled him, melanoma and all, i relinquished, momentarily, the garishness of the spot. Even now ,memories of that anomaly in his body, almost like a disfiguration prompts contradictory feelings in me. If i could wash that spot of purple clean off the skin, leaving the healthy skin behind, eroded a bit, as a stone by the beach but still polished and smooth. Elsewhere i want to put out my tongue around that region in his upper shoulder, to taste that coarse texture, feel it abrading my tongue, absorbing the purplish excess on my lips. He, too, is overlaid with a purple patina. The barrenness of our orwellian minimalism now seems supplanted, in my consciousness, with the purple profusion of the baroque. The landscape of his body, usually transparent, signals now, with this conspicuous mottling , at a hinterland into the nebulous. Habituated to his more unprepossessing excrescences like that tiny scar indenting his inner wrist, while i stroke lovingly, imagining the experience that materialized it, i still saw him as a landscape of familiarity. The patterns of our being , predictable as they were, both comforted and bored me. Now , it seemed, there were dimensions i could tap into, without and within. This melanoma , which is self contained, ineradicable, is not , for me, a foreclosure its concreteness testifies. It is a spot in a projection of perfection and like any spot, assumes larger significance than the entire frame.
We met after a few weeks. The first thing i did while we undressed was to check his upper shoulder. The luridness of colour has receded and a light pinkish stain is all that remains, already becoming more indistinct as a counterpoint to the imprinting of that original anomaly i saw last . He seems a bit more beefed up, partly i deduce,from steroids. And the melanoma, located on a firm, muscled shoulder now seems far preferable to this etiolated remnant in flabby skin. I can imagine curling my head around the muscled discrepancy than the curative sagging. But he seems to be getting better .
Whatever it may represent melanoma certainly betokened a possibility of a deeper closeness. Despite the desultoriness of our future intersections, which i project and assume to be true objectively,this interlude is etched in my consciousness. I will finger it, wrap my arms around it, warm my hands over it and recapitulate,though knowing it is only a fantasy, the orgasmic potentiality of melanoma.