Tuesday, May 3, 2005

Leprosy and you

About two weeks ago I went to a dermatologist because my eye had become itchy, red and swollen. 


I had heard from my most wonderful, caring, and concerned best bud that Hawaii, at one time, was home to the largest known collective colonies of Lepers in the world.  I thanked her for the tidbit of knowledge and didn’t think about it much until my eye started to look like an un-ripe strawberry.  Seeing as how my Hawaiian second honeymoon was only a few months ago – I was convinced that at any moment my face would sag and my eyeball would go rolling down the hallway.


I immediately asked my office mates to be on the lookout for stray eyes and to kick them my way should anyone come across one in the aisles.


Luckily, I am told that leprosy is not at work on my eye – that it’s just some sort of infection. However, when she told me that I was going to have to throw out a majority of my make-up I swooned. 


 My make-up was my treasure, the literal equivalent to a pirate’s booty


  I couldn’t bear to part with it.  But, for fear of office eyeball hockey, I did it. 


I was forced to go out, in public, WITHOUT MY FACE ON. 

  I could wear certain mascaras and foundations – but that was it.  NO EYELINER, NO EYECREAM, NO CONCEALER, BLUSH, EYESHADOW, CRÈME OR POWDER! 


I was horrified.


I wait two weeks. 

I am in cosmetic exile

I am a prisoner of the “nude face.”


And I do feel naked.


I anxiously await my two o’clock appointment today.


IN the waiting area I read my Laurie Notaro book while the lady next to me was "killing me softly" with her perfume.  It almost was like she had Glade wisps under each arm so that every time she moved, little invisible puffs would come out to choke me like  flowery carbon monoxide.


Then, she struck up a conversation with the gentleman next to her about "those Methodists."


Thankfully, my name was called and I was rescued.  However, the religious theme was not to end there.


Waiting in my little room, I noticed that the walls were filled with stark faces that had been condemned to a life of skin-disease purgatory for baking to a golden, wrinkly brown in tanning beds.  Basically unfazed and a little giddy about the prospect of wearing eye-shadow by nightfall, I had just hung up my coat and sat down to read a chapter of “We Thought You Would Be Prettier” devoted to the dreaded eye twitch when I heard a rather one-sided conversation wafting from the room next door:


"Ever wonder why the Devil's red?"  a gravelly voice boomed

"And blood, too, blood's red."  he went on.


"So the Devil's red and blood's red.

Think that's a coincidence? I don't.

The Devil and blood is red." He concluded. 

"Wrote a book about it - called it 'The Devil is Red' - that's what I called my book.  Cause the Devil is Red and the blood, it's red, too."  He ended matter-of-factly.


I hoped that whatever procedure happening next door that had prompted his obviously well thought-out tirade did NOT involve blood, of any color.  It was my belief (in order to keep myself from getting woozy and passing out on the Melanoma chart) that there was probably a 666 birthmark being sandblasted off of my roomies' ass (which would make it red - like the Devil - ya know - red).


I left shortly after speaking to my doctor who granted me limited use of other, formerly forbidden cosmetic fruit and who made me very happy by not sticking a piece of “allergy tape” to my back and sending me on my way.



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