A cyst appeared on my back. It was flat. Plugged at the top. Glowed red like the tip of the devil’s dick broke off beneath my skin. I didn’t know what caused it or how long it’d been there. Maybe an ingrown hair but my chest and back are bare. A girlfriend spotted it as she yanked stray strands off my skin. I felt gripped by the thing. This slow-boiled infection. I asked her to put the bastard down. Kill it without kindness. Unlicensed surgery on my skin.

She laid me on her bed and sat on my ass. Used a tweezer, toiler paper, and acne meds with nail polish remover as disinfectant. This germ killing potion was pink and stung one’s eyes. She squeezed at the cyst ’til it popped. A viscous splotch of yellow and white oozed from the glory hole. It smelled of rotted meat. Of cum left in a corpse. Filled her room with a wall-staining stench. With it came blood that rolled and beaded. She was disgusted but did my bidding. Cleaned the fetid wound. We weren’t even dating anymore but still she took care of me.

Like a sprawling oil patch the skin around the hole held a reserve of rot. A honeymoon suite for maggots to fuck in. She kneaded the pus then squeezed it to surface. Sopped this slop with tp. Then she poured in the poison. Peroxide. Alcohol. Hand sanitizer. Whatever ointments she had on hand to firebomb the bacteria back to hell.

We enacted this ritual for months. I gave little thanks for all she did. For the sick she saw and smelled. For how she still fucked me even after lancing the creature that lived on my back. It was just assumed that she’d do it. If she protested I’d beg ’til she relented. ‘Til she sat on my ass to draw buckets of pus from the well.

Once a week she sat me on the operating table. Strapped a mask to her face to combat the smell. Then she’d squeeze open the hole that’d crusted close. Draw out pus that stank of roadkill scorched in August sun. She squeezed ’til the socket ran dry. Then I’d demand she draw more. Pester her to describe how much gunk came out. To stick the sick rag in my face so I could delight in all that bubbled forth.

Over time there came to be less and less matter. A comet burning as it rockets to earth. She’d squeeze, clean, and disinfect. Pour pink potion into the gulch. Tell me I should see a doctor. Finally it came that no matter how much she dug nothing emitted. No stink, no juice, the well now dry. Our ritual came to an end and I missed it. Missed the fun of discovery. Of having someone who went to such lengths to show she cared.

Now when something mysterious appears on my back I stand before a mirror. Twist my head and contort my arms. Unnatural bends that cinch parts and induce pain. As I do this I spot the permanent white dot on my back. The gravestone of that dead cyst. It lives just to the left of my right shoulder blade. A pale splotch on peach skin. It’s a scar that reminds me of then. Of her. Of what she did. Of a need to be less gross and more grateful. I forget that thought often but the lesson lives on both on and in me.