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tfw: You Have A Giant Fucking Zit

tfw is a mini personal essay series I’m try to do on Tuesdays to recount second-person experiences of feelings and experiences we all have. Or maybe I’m the only one who has them?

It starts simply enough: your nose is sore. Why is it sore? You have no idea. You didn’t hurt it or over treat it or do anything out of the ordinary in terms of nosiness. You did have a runny nose—but that’s normal. Still, somehow, the tip of your nose is sore and it’s radiating a message to a network of nerves that everything needs to feel sore.

Then it inflates. The tip of your nose isn’t exaggerated and disgusting but just a little bulbous, like it’s carrying water weight. No one else will notice but you will. It’s a discrete distraction.

Then it turns red. Why red? Yes, you’ve been in the sun but it now looks a bit like you have an old person drinking problem where your alcoholism manifests as a hyper-specific body discoloration. Why this? It’s now the third day of gifts from your big, sore, red nose.

Then it turns white, at a head, a giant blemish button for all to push with their eyes. The monster of soreness, of inflation, of redness has revealed itself to be a middle school prankster to remind you that your youth hasn’t entirely disappeared, which should be a blessing but is currently very problematic. You inspect yourself in a mirror and, while the nasal button is discrete enough, it’s all you can see on your face. It’s all you can feel. The pimple has gotten so big and tight that all of the energy inside and outside of your face is being channelled into this tip. You try to massage it away, willing a soft pop, but your nose is too sore to manipulate. It’s too sensitive. Your body has accepted its ugliness and you must now present your face in odd camera angles to prevent others from seeing your yuckiness.

Then it oozes. Why? Because you wouldn’t stop fucking with it. You’re in the middle of a lunch and, of course, you go to check on it as you have been doing every twenty minutes for the past day and—Voila!—the pustule deflated at a fingertip and is oozing down your face and you now mustn’t let anyone else at lunch notice and you must disguise your disgust because you are truly foul right now. You excuse yourself to the bathroom but, because your nose is still so sore, there’s nothing you can do but watch the white liquid turn to clear liquid turn to red liquid then to clear liquid.

Then it disappears. You’re so impressed! It was a painful run and, while the soreness and the white head has exeunted, you know you did a good job annoying the thing away. You are relieved and happy and can show your face in any manner that you want. You are no longer disgusting.

Then it scabs. Somehow, as if tricking you, you wake up on the seventh day of the blemish to find that it has scabbed over. There’s even a ring of dead skin, a floating halo to draw eyes. Part of you finds it cute like an exotic mole that would mark a model as different but most of you is disgusted that now you have an even more pronounced situation at the center of your face. You try to pick it off with no luck. You now have to wait. You will never make a deal good enough with the corporeal demon inside. The demon always wins.

Then it stays. For three more days, the scab extends its sabbatical at the furthest outlook point on your face. It is always watching. It is a panoptic vision of disgust. It broadcasts the error of your body. It eventually falls off, floating away when you don’t notice. You feel relieved when it leaves—but you know it could come back at any moment. You live in fear of the giant fucking zits return, to ruin your life, to stain you with a blemished double consciousness.

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