Paradise by Donald Barthelme:
He has something cut off his forehead, a skin cancer that’s been there for years, a dark spot the diameter of a pencil eraser. The doctor is a tall gloomy man with a Southern accent. He doesn’t waste time, has Simon on the table and is scraping away with a curette within two minutes. First, four sharp stings as he places the lidocaine; afterward, the smell of burning brain as he cauterizes the blood vessels.
Simon writes a check for eighty-five dollars. He walks back to the apartment from the doctor’s office, something like sixty-five blocks. It’s cool and cloudy out. Bumptious loudmouthed swaggering teenagers coming down the street, jostling people. Simon sidesteps them. Can’t shoot ‘em all. An absolutely beautiful woman in blue walking toward him. He turns and looks after her. She walks on without turning. Well, why should she? He’s fifty-three.
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