Ingrown

45 years old and all I can see is this damn blemish.

O panoply of most microscopic yet irksome concerns…
it would feel more worthwhile
to occupy myself with someone *else’s* needs,
a child’s for instance, legitimate, developmental…
but that there’s a whole ‘nother topic for another post.
In the meanwhile I excavate the geography of my own face–

I did it to myself. I mean, it’s not a zit exactly, though I do get those from time to time, too, even unto Middle Age, le sigh.

No, this particular little bugger stems from having plucked a hair. That’s all. Took my surgical steel tweezers to that little bugger and nipped him out– only to have it go and get all irritated and ingrown like they always do. A surely victimless plucking event recently routinely followed by two weeks of cosmetic histrionics: swelling, unpleasantness, and social blight.

high school classmate echoes out of yore,
“Never touch your face!
The oil and dirt on your hands
will make you break out!”

In point of fact it must be noted that I’m temperamentally prone to a mindless digital nitpicking (when Chris catches me at it, he gently slaps my hand away and I, in my more gracious moments, thank him to do it) which could surely have contributed to the exacerbated infection in this case… To be sure some sort of egregious disharmony has surely been struck to render this here chin a Rorschach of “dark spots”– apparently attributable to what amounts to genetic compulsion: based largely on stray observation I conclude inherited tendency toward facial self-dissection through the maternal line. I suspect my sister, too, quite frankly– therefore both sole observable blood-kin cast as big pickers. Not so the now-deceased Victorian dowager Grandmother by adoption– she’d not have deigned to pick so crudely upon her visage with a filthy digit. But those brash and vulgar redheads are another matter altogether, now, fairskinned ill-gotten sprouters lightly furred with glowing down on chin and cheek which caught in the right backlighting proves perceivable as both haloey and soft but inevitably is punctuated by the odd stray follicular rebel, that one that will occasionally spring forth, so absolutely singular and fat with ambition.

Then, by gott in himmel, my mother, my sister, and I myself will pluck that hair straight out, right there and then, just wherever the moment finds us in the course of daily routine (though in strict point of fact we’ll likely as not have been picking already, absently scritching away with fingernails in creeping persistent survey for telltale tiny roughnesses to remove), this unconscious digital address having located a specific marauding irritant will fix upon the discovered protrusion, urge together those always too-soft fingernail tips, reflexively scissoring to grasp and pull!

Unfortunately in response (in my case alone for all I know) these wiry buccaneers of my biology, solid sprouting hairs grasped  between crescents of thumb and index finger snap, then plunge and burrow and cause to fester itty bitty swollen caverns of reddening fleshly gore, churning subterraneanly with uninvited microorganisms, fashioning and forming around a minuscule kernel of aggravated infection.

The difficult pale knot so accomplished will then rise with ohso stately grimness from the epidermal underworld, brim and build to a white welt of threat, tauntingly too deep for release, yet, ugly and evil with lurking— until at last I can bear no longer and go and fetch equipment and tools and set to turning the whole thing inside out.

Begin: Hot hot water on a scrubbing cloth:
dip, apply; dip, apply and hold, hold, hold;
dip, apply; repeat.

Bit by bit the thing will give, some small entry will open, softened, sometimes chafed, to opening, and then, oh release, the grotesque and voluptuous thrill of expression. 

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