A few weeks ago I was talking to a colleague in the kitchen at work when I noticed something on his chin. A little flesh-colored nubbin about a half inch under his lower lip. I did that thing where you touch your own face to indicate that someone else has something on their face.
“You’ve got a little something on your chin,” I said.
“No,” he replied. “It’s a wart. I have grown a wart on my face.”
And so it was. A nubbiny little wart that just popped up, almost overnight.
We took to teasing him about it. He took it well and even named it. It went on for about a week.
He took his face to the doctor and now the nubbin is gone.
I, on the other hand, have a giant pustule in almost the same place on my face. Payback, I’m convinced, for teasing about the wart.
I was not one of those teenagers afflicted with acne. I’m not even sure I’ve ever been to a dermatologist. I DON’T GET ZITS.
But now I have a third eye. A headlight. A saucer-sized goiter on my chin. I know it’s deep. I can feel its roots running down my throat, probably waiting to wrap themselves around my carotid artery and strangle me in my sleep.
I see people looking at it when they’re talking to me. They try to maintain eye contact, but inevitably their glance slides down to my chin…then they pop right back up again as if they were caught doing something naughty.
Remember that scene in Animal House when John Belushi stuffs his mouth with mashed potatoes and then forces them out by pushing on his cheeks, spewing mashed potatoes everywhere? The scene where he says “Look, I’m a zit?”
Well, this zit isn’t going to be like that.
Oh no. It’s not going to just pop and go away. It’s going to seep and ooze and get crusty. It’s going to be a constant reminder that I shouldn’t make fun of people with warts. (Which I really don’t do very often, and everyone else was doing it too.)
It’s karma. Instant pustule-inducing karma.