There were all sorts of things that my childhood mind dreamed up as being the spoils of adulthood. Even as a teen, the fantasies continued. About how great it would be to be on my own, be my own boss (apparently in these imaginings, I lived in a vacuum… a vacuum full of money!), be able to wear whatever I wanted without a critical “Do you think you’re leaving the house dressed like THAT?”
Being a grown-up was going to be totally awesome.
And even as the grey hairs started to sprout, even as my ass began its slow, inexorable slide towards the backs of my knees, even as the bills piled up, I still held tight to the conviction that certain rights of adulthood were inalienable.
I was so naive.
I’d like to introduce you to Phil. Phil, this is everyone. Everyone, this is Phil. Phil loves me. Phil has moved in and taken over and I am powerless under his magnetism, as are you. (I can’t stop touching him, and you can’t stop staring.) Phil does not care that I am 35 years old. Phil thinks I am just as attractive as a teenager. In fact, Phil is going to take me to the prom! The internet told me so.
No, I have not been drinking. (I sort of wish I’d been drinking….)
Phil is a monstrous zit that has taken up residence on my chin. Rather, UNDER my chin. Under the skin on my chin. I suspect it starts somewhere on top of the actual bone, but not very far above it. From there, this zit, or cyst, or WHATEVER IT IS expands out in a golfball-sized mound of pain and redness. It is, by all accounts, pretty impressive.
Oh, sure. Phil started out modestly enough. Even though I am 35 (did I mention that, already? how I am WELL PAST ZIT AGE), I still struggle with acne. I own stock in Clearasil. I am no stranger to pimples, is my point. And when Phil started out, I figured it would be a brief, unremarkable visit and then he would be on his way. When the area started sort of THROBBING last night, I made sure to put extra zit zapper on it, before bed.
For my efforts I was rewarded this morning with a grotesque distortion of my chin, to make way for Phil in all of his glory. I stood there in the bathroom, applying several ounces of cover-up, and pondering the tacit agreement I’d entered as an adult.
Part of that agreement was that once the wrinkles started, the acne would GO AWAY. I’m certain that was a clause in there, somewhere. Something has gone dreadfully awry and I want my lawyer! (Oh, wait. That’s right. My lawyer’s still in jail. That may explain how this happened, actually. Ahem.)
Anyway, aside from the obvious social handicap of looking like I’m storing nuts for winter IN MY CHIN, this thing is making my entire face hurt. I am desperate for relief.
[Phil: But I LOVE YOU! We shall be together ALWAYS!
Me: Dude. You need your own zip code. Somewhere OTHER THAN MY FACE.
Phil: Here is where I belong.
Me: I regret having named you. No, wait. No I don’t. Fuck you, Phil.]
So I went over to see my friend Dr. Google, to see if he might know of any surefire remedies for interlopers like Phil.
Do you know what Dr. Google said? He said lots of things, actually. Mostly he said “Like, OMIGOD YOU GUYS, I have a HUGE ZIT and my prom is tomorrow night!!!!!! What do I DOOOOOO?” It’s not that Dr. Google didn’t have lots of information, it’s that he believes that everyone with this problem is 16 and owns a really bitchin’ sequined minidress that needs to make it to the gymnasium for that one special night.
And then here I am, all “Hey, Dr. Google? I’ve kinda got this PTA thing to get to, and I’d rather not have everyone see this pus tumor on my chin, if you know what I mean….”
But Dr. Google has many suggestions for me. Phil has laughed at every single one, you understand, but hope springs eternal.
Use benzoyl peroxide cream every night. Okay. And? I mean, I see the logic, but I’m pretty sure Phil is DRINKING IT.
Use toothpaste! Uhhhh, okay. I’ll try that. Hmmm. Sticky. Don’t use toothpaste! It can damage your skin! Right, because the state my skin is in NOW is something worth preserving….
Try a dab of tea tree oil. That’s a great idea. Just let me throw on my burqa so I can get out to the health food store for some of that. Or maybe I can just send Phil out to fetch it for me.
Alternate hot and cold compresses. I don’t think this actually helps, but it certainly keeps a person busy.
Using Visine on the pimple will reduce redness. But the zit isn’t in my eye. Also, it’s not so much the redness (which I can cover with makeup) as the TWO INCH PROTUBERANCE which concerns me.
Pop it! I don’t actually think I could pop my entire head, which is what would be required at this point. Whatever you do, don’t pop it! Okay. Without a pair of pliers and a bucket, that seems unlikely at this point, anyway.
Mix together equal amounts of benzoyl peroxide and antibiotic ointment and slather the area. Okay. That’s what I’m trying tonight. But I’ve gotta tell you, my hopes are not high.
Maybe I should just relent and let him take me to the damn prom.