My face is falling off. I can see virgin pink skin beneath the dead flakes that refuse to fall but stick stubbornly.
The murdered skin taunts my audience as I smile and laugh as though nothing is amiss. The People try to look at my eyes as I speak but their eyes are tempted and can't help shifting to my lower face. Which is falling off.
The procedure includes such products as salicylic acid, lactic acid and retinoic acid. ACID. I have PAID a woman to cover my face in ACID. The acid has essentially killed three layers of skin that was alive and fairly well yesterday at 10:30 am.
I have done this so I will be extra beautiful to behold.
I am not to engage in any sweaty activity for the next 3 days. So sex is out of the question.
I am also not to expose my skin to the sun, wash my face with a washcloth, use a scrub, pick or pull the skin or talk to strangers named Chester.
I am DYING to pick AND pull the skin. It itches like the dickens! If I peeled and pulled skin would come off in triumphant sheets. Glorious sheets of yesterday's epidermis would line today's waste paper basket.
But no. Peeling and pulling will result in scarring. So I must let enormous chunks of dried flesh hang from my chin until it decides of it's own accord to abandon ship.
I took my face with me everywhere I went today despite it's altered condition.
The peeling began at a sushi lunch with my mother, brother and baby sis.
"Something is happening to your chin, Crys," said Michelle without concern. She never cares much for outer appearances.
"Oh. Has the peeling begun? I was told it would be another 24 hours. I got a vita peel at the dermatologist yesterday," I said.
"We should go out," said my brother dryly.
This is sarcasm.
He does not want to go out in reality. Not for 3 to 5 days at least.
The last time I got a peel I had no idea of the wrecked condition I would be in. I got the peel to celebrate my 33 birthday. I wanted a youthful glow. Fresh skin.
My brother had planned a lovely evening for he and me a couple of days after the peel. I would not cancel for the world. I was terribly excited.
He was very cool, collected and ridiculously handsome no matter how monstrous I looked. He took me to a fancy sushi dinner downtown.
Then he took me to an elite fashion runway show with beautiful, underfed models strutting their pristine smug mugs. All the while Joe stood cool with a drink in his hand. He said not a word.
He has not invited me out in public since.
K. That's a lie. He has. But it would make a better story if he hadn't.
I had a church meeting tonight. My condition had progressed rapidly since lunch.
There were 30 women in that room and I had to introduce myself.
I wondered if I could avoid mentioning my malady. The thought of letting them wonder and talk amongst themselves later made me giggle inside. But the looks of shock and concern as they stared were more than I could bear.
Has Crystal contracted leprosy? they thought. Perhaps she is being punished for hosting a super bowl party on the Sabbath. Yes. I'm sure that is what happened. Obedience has never been her strong suit, has it? It was only a matter of time...
Gossip really gets under my skin.
I put them and myself out of misery.
"Hello, I am Crystal Pistol. I am the girls camp director this year once again. And I have had a facial. So please don't be alarmed if my entire chin detaches from my face and falls to the floor."
We all laughed the laugh of relief. It's one of the best laughs. Except for maybe the belly laugh when you are five years old and your dad tickles you until you are sure you will never be allowed to draw another normal breath again in your life. That's a good one too.
Immediately after my meeting I attended a book group. We were to discuss Barbara Kingsolver's Poisonwood Bible. Great book.
I made a similar announcement to the one I had made at church and everyone was perfectly fine.
There was one moment when a group member told of how she was once directing the music in church and her breasts starting leaking. She was a nursing mother at the time. Two large wet spots appeared on her blouse directly above her nipples as she conducted.
Ah... I remember those days. There are times in a woman's life when her cups runneth over. It's a wonderful, wet, bonding time.
As we all laughed and told of our own nursing disasters I realized that no one cared about my face.
At first I didn't know how I felt about that. I am awfully concerned about my face on a daily basis. It is common courtesy for them to CARE ABOUT MY FACE!
I suddenly remembered something my brother had said earlier today.
"No one cares about your face," he said. "Everyone is too busy caring about their own faces."
Wise beyond his years my brother.
Tomorrow I will go on a field trip with my son to Tucson's famous gem and mineral show at the Tucson Convention Center.
"Will your face look like THAT?" he asked in horror.
"Well not EXACTLY like this. My chin will be mostly peeled by then. But my cheeks will probably peel next. And maybe my forehead. I will explain it to everybody. Don't worry. It will be fine."
He is mortified. I'm sure he has considered asking me not to attend. Tyson really cares about having me look pretty for his little friends. Poor lad. May this be a lesson to him.
Beauty is only skin deep.