Wednesday, March 25, 2009

The Loser's Skin

He has always had bad skin. As a child, The Complete and Total Loser rubbed dry parts into sores he kept going by picking at the scabs. He maintained one scab at the corner of his mouth for most of third grade.
When adolescence hit, it got worse. Large pores, always clogged. Blackheads. Pimples on his forehead and elsewhere. No true acne, its blemishes badges of hormonal rage and future passion; just greasy, dirty skin. Visits to a dermatologist for antibiotics kept the pimples minimized, but barely.
In his early twenties his face stayed an oily field of bacteria, while boils developed on his back. He'd burst them, his fingertips coated with pus.
He still, at 50, his skin has the worst of age and youth. Splotchy and slick. The tip and creases of his nose require regular squeezing, which the Loser schedules on days off so his coworkers will be spared the sight of the bruising this results in. He scrubs with a solution regularly, and his back needs a scrubbing to remove built up dead skin. He uses a prescription dandruff shampoo for what remains of his hair, winter makes most of his epidermis flake and itch, he needs to remember to scratch the pieces of dead skin from his eyebrows every morning.
Oh, to have good skin! To have been able to thrust your face close to a girl's with confidence, to not shrink away when under direct light, to appear a healthy animal, capable of siring young that will thrive, and to not yellow pillowcases and sheets with secretions even though you never fail to shower before sleep.

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