I was born with certain advantages: girls liked me, I was a good athlete, I had nice friends, loving parents, I was charming when needed, and I grew up in Southern California... of course it was in Bakersfield, California so not a huge win there, but if it was good enough for Buck Owens, then it was good enough for me!
My skin was exceptionally nice. Olive brown and soft like no others. I know this because first, it’s true, and secondly, I grew up with women I would shake hands with and they would almost always comment on the softness of my skin.
"Oh my, his hands are so soft! Brenda, come and feel this boy’s hands!"
Come and get it ladies... Women of the world, 10 year old boys are embarrassed by that.
The reason for my freakishly soft skin is small pores.
My looks were never the center of my existence, it was just my life. Normal. Looking back, life, of course was easier, but I was just living my normal life as a good looking kid. It helped that I wasn't too good looking I think. Those poor bastards have it rough.
Freak on a Leash
Once puberty invaded my body, my tiny pores became an enormous liability. My acne was an absolute nightmare. I had gone from a high school contender to the Elephant Man in one summer. This extreme case of acne was so traumatizing. It really is a terrible feeling. It is a social prison.
I went to the dermatologist. I remember the room, the colors, his cologne, and his face when he saw me. Before saying hello, he took me by the chin and turned my head, examining my left side, then the right.
"Wow! How do you even shave?!"
He had mocked me clinically. His precision of word choice and delivery was perfect. His first words, to a temporarily disfigured, 14 year old boy who felt shame from the moment he opened his eyes in the morning to the late hours in the night. As the world slept this boy suffered.
Each morning, surprised he had slept at all, he would see the small smears of blood on the sheets and pillow case. The stains told a story of tormented sleep. His mother would wash them daily, thinking he didn’t know. He knew.
I walked straight out of the office, past my mother and sat in the car.
My mother came out minutes later with a prescription for all kinds of shit that years later would be pulled of the market because it gives you cancer or something, but hey, clinical trials done by the drug company producing it... Sounds about right. Shareholders uber alles!
I have never hit anyone first, ever. That Doctor was as close as I had ever come. The only thing that stopped me besides my own sense of right and wrong was the knowledge that he, not I, was the ugly one who should feel shame.
The Cocooned Butterfly
My skin cleared up and puberty had been kind to me in the end. But that experience of isolation... it shaped me in a way that is hard to describe or quantify. It made me harder, and softer at the same time.
Of course, I spent 20 years in self imposed isolation after that, but that was just a case of needing time to think about a few things. I am done now and just beginning.
To get your sweet little hands on a little something that will keep your body rockin’, head to Virginic.com and use the promo code VIRGINICJEFF at checkout for 10% off your purchases. May I suggest the Body Butter? Too late. Done.
Hiya comment section. Any thoughts or experiences to share about skin issues, doctor issues, or otherwise? It could really help someone out. It could really help me out...