A sucker is born every minute and happy birthday to me. Now a month into my 25th year and as people older than myself like to point out, "you're a quarter of a century now," I am well aware that I am supposed to or at least pretend to be an adult. But what do adults do, I wonder? Watch the news? Check, I can't help that since a certain date of alarm we've all be very aware of breaking news with the 24hr news networks. What else am I suppose to do? Get old, I'm down with that, or at least I thought I was.
Peering into my toothpaste-splattered mirror, my vanity erupted into worry. Do I have to get a face-lift? How will I pay for that? Wait a minute; I don't even want to go! As quoted myself after the infamous 2001 knee reconstruction, "surgery sucks." Quicker than Quakers, my worry lines eased into a self-assured smug, I realized I had already turned the clock so far back it was a sundial. Across my Irish/German/English/Danish and foremost Scottish cheekbones stood the fountain of youth. I am the proud owner, shall I say curator or cultivator of a magnificent crop of sturdy and immovable blackheads, occasionally visited by their much beefier cousins; pimples, zits, blemishes and as the British say spots. My skin looks more the pop-star-lusting pre-teen than any card-carrying twenty-something. On the edge of embracing my chronic torrential acne, I balked, did the years and dollars I spent attempting to grind, medicate, squeeze and, my favorite,
visualize them away mean nothing? What about the hours of recreational dermatological excavations in the shower? I stood in light boxes for you, endured freezing treatments and was filled full of years of problematic pills to eradicate my acne. And yes, I did the Accutane and no, it didn't work. But I did enjoy the novel length waivers and cautions I had to sign in order to take the drug. My developing years were plagued by my constant epidermal eruptions, causing clichéd self esteemed. Now I take no "miracle pills" and may have a little too much self-esteem (if that's possible). Surprised at myself with the apparent lack of concern for my destined to be defective complexion, I realized I was an adult; scratch that, a quarter centenarian. I guess I had perspective, and I always thought that meant a vanishing point. And it did because what's a zit on my forehead? Nothing, if anything just another reason to be asked for my ID and
questioned about its authenticity.
I can say now that time was the answer; the battlefield of my face has been quiet. Occasionally bumps rise again like a long forgotten rebellion, threatening forests of hair follicles. Relatively soon, they retreat, the relinquishing their strategic pore holdings and leaving their protest signs in the sebum. What do I have to do to maintain this pallor peace? Toxic astringents? Benzoly peroxide bombings? Slaughters with salicylic acid?