I am in that sad category of red
and blotchy English. Some frailty of breeding generations ago gave
me pinkness, so not for me the beautiful black or bronze skin that
apparently there is a chemical that strips away damaged skin. And it
is this chemical which if applied twice a day for three weeks will return
my hands to a condition that does not cause others to think me leprotic.
The chemical comes in a green bottle, it has few instructions and tomorrow
morning will be the first of forty two applications of chemical to the backs of my
hands and wrists. I need cotton swabs and oddly my hands will begin
to feel as though they are sunburned.
I understand that this circumstance
is a "come hither" from the medical profession. I see it
clearly as that first step into the abyss. I have watched the white
coats lift their clipboards and place a question mark beside my name.
So, in a month or so when I reach a pretty pink hand across to take a receipt at the grocery
store, and if I am greeted with a smile, I will sense decline, and I will understand
temptation because when Eve promised Adam an apple she wore a stethoscope.