I am sitting at home, laptop aimed at my face. I join a virtual waiting room and a doctor soon connects. I peel back a bandaid, a mess of where a mole used to be. I tell her it was so itchy I scraped the top off. I’m afraid of melanoma. My hands shake and my heart races.
That is not the truth.
A day prior in the midst of a severe manic episode, I took a knife and cut off a good portion of the mole that’s sat on the right side of my face my whole life and watch blood trickle down my white shirt.
I felt the floor of the elementary school’s lunchroom again. Girls circled around me and poked at the brown dot on my face. They chanted mean names. Later at show and tell, I pass around a baby photo. They laugh and ask where my ugly pimple was. I ask my mom if I can get it removed. She says no.
Boys taunt me and tell me they’d like me if I didn’t have that brown dot sitting there on the side of my face. I ask my mom if I can get it removed. She says no.
I lightly tease my mom about her nose being slightly crooked. She shoots venom back.
“At least I don’t have a huge mole that looks like the Wicked Witch of the East on my face.” I don’t dare ask my mom if I can get it removed.
I feel the chill of September settle in at a football game. The high school boys stand to my right. I turn my face the other way in hopes they won’t see it. I feel a burning self hatred in my stomach. I ask my dad if I can get it removed. He says no.
I ask my friends to let me have the left side in group photos — it’s my good side, I insist. I consider calling a dermatologist. I don’t have the money.
Years pass. I get older; I accept it. I didn’t have time to think about the minuscule mark on my face. I’m far past school, far past bullies.
So why the fuck did I just cut it off?
I stare at crater of what used to be a mole. I try my best to wipe up the blood but it comes faster than I can catch it.
It’s now a messy open wound where the bane of my existence once was.
I stare at the doctor taking down notes. I cross my fingers and I pray she takes me in for a biopsy. I wonder if God would forgive me.
Then among everything, I hope to sit in an office soon to stitch it back up. In a hospital. I hope to be in a hospital during a pandemic. For the sake of shallow vanity.
Would I be happy then?