True Stories that Sound Fake

True Stories that Sound Fake

Acne. I hate it more than most things in this world. I blame my body- my fickle, frustrating body. First, I can’t grow muscle, and I can’t gain weight due to my metabolism and now my face rejects all forms of acne fighting medicine. All medicine starts to work when I first get it, then quickly gets to the point where there’s more pimple then man. The wipes for my face? Failed in a week. Proactive? Childs play. This back and forth battle raged on for years until my mother decided to take me to the dermatologist, which is a long word I can’t pronounce that means “skin doctor.” We came into the small office about thirty minutes out from my house. We sat in a small, saturated room filled with with old people. Now, I’m not frightened by old people, at all, but these were old people with skin issues. My mother sat there on her iphone while I had to chat with Civil War vets about how their foot cream just “doesn’t have the same magic like it used to.” “Oh, man, that sucks. You should get that checked out,” I quietly say, trying desperately not to look into his sad puppy dog eyes. “Well, that’s why I’m here ain’t it, boy?!” he says, grinning and showing me his prominent collection of golden teeth.

The doctor comes in and calls my name. In the spirit of perfect comedic timing, I dash out of the waiting room like road runner, leaving a cloud of smoke in the shape of a skinny Jewish boy.  My mother slowly gets up and informs the room, “He does that a lot.”

We make our way into the doctor’s office and they have me plop myself on those very uncomfortable looking beds. Now I’m not all that swell at person to person interaction. One time I was wearing a Green Day hoodie at a restaurant. A lady said, “Oh, I love Green Day” and I said, “Oh, thanks!” I’m an idiot, so I figure if I lie down and close my eyes the doctor will think I am dead and not ask me any questions. “Am I gonna die Cheryl?” I ask my mother. “For the last time Jason, you can’t call me Cheryl. And no, you’re not going to die. For god’s sake, you’re seventeen years old.” But I feel six.

Eventually I get myself to calm down after some deep breathing exercises I learned from mom’s weird yoga videos that I totally don’t watch on a regular basis. The door opens, me still in full corpse mode, and the doctor’s assistant strolls in. She stops at the head of the bed and takes a good look at my face. Still no questions. She must think I’m dead. It’s working! “Oh my, another sleeper,” she turns to my mother “This happens a lot.” Okay, asleep, that’s a step. I let out a nervous toot. Unless the Walking Dead lied to me and the dead do pass gas I’d say my alibi has been blown away (pun absolutely intended). “Oh, a sleep pooter. That’s new,” I hear. She shakes my shoulder and I bring myself awake.

Maybe if I play my cards right I won’t die, I think to myself. The doctor’s assistant, turns out, is gorgeous. Blonde hair, blue eyes, perfect skin. It’s like Los Angeles without all the broken dreams and illicit drugs. On second thought it’s nothing like Los Angeles, but she is pretty. I’d flirt, but I just farted so better to save my swag for another. “So, I’m just going to take some information.” At least there aren’t any needles. “Oh my, that’s a big cyst on your chin. Better inject that for you before the doctor gets in.” Did I mention I hate irony with a burning passion? The nice lady with legs that never end comes up close to my face with a comically large needle and injects some bizarre fluid into my face. Fantastic. “Now there should be a small burning sensation. I’ll send the doctor in, so you just wait there. Nice meeting you!” Liar. She lied about a few things. One, it was most certainly not nice meeting me, and two there is no small burning sensation. It is a massive burning sensation. It’s like burning man on my chin without all the naked people. Once again my metaphors fail me; this is nothing like burning man, but it does hurt.

The doctor opens the door and confidently enters the room. The thing to know about the doctor is, I don’t know his name, and neither does my mother. We just call him “Dr. Handsome” and he is just that: an MD with a minor in sexy. Mother and I both let out an audible sigh and Doctor Handsome comes over and inspects my face. I feel the jealousy radiating from my mother.handsome doctor

“My, that’s a lot of acne,” I hear in the most soothing voice I’ve heard since Benedict Cumberbatch. “Thanks,” I say. He laughs, thinking I was trying to be funny. I wasn’t, but I’m always funny. I have one of those faces. “Well, Mr. Pauli, I’d say a glycolic treatment would do that face a lot of good. We can get you in for one right now if you’d like.” “Oh, I’d like,” I say. He laughs. I don’t.

A glycolic treatment sounds wonderful, it sounds like a spa thing right? It isn’t. You see, Dr. Handsome left out one key word involving this glycolic treatment. The actual name was “Glycolic Acid treatment”. The treatment consists of a very nice woman pouring acid on your face and removing all black heads and popping pimples. Sound fun yet? I sure thought so.

I lie down on another bed in a different room as a woman wipes my face down with some form of wet wipes that are not for your butt. “So,” she starts while reaching for a tub of what I assume is not candy. “What grade are you in?” she asks. “Um, senior. Senior grade.” “OH! That’s nice. You applying to colleges?” she asks, still sounding legitimently interested. “Yeah, NYU, Emerson, schools like that.” “Oh that’s nice. What program? You look like a young business man.” I cough a little. “Well actually I wanna go into film.” There’s a long pause as the nice lady’s face turns from interest to looking like I just told her I wanna be homeless. “Oh… well that’s…ni..” She doesn’t finish the word. She pulls out a brush and makes the first pass on my face. Now Dr. Handsome MD told me this might sting a little, but the weird thing is I don’t feel a thing. Now, I don’t mean that I don’t feel the sting. I mean I don’t even feel the brush. I sit there a moment waiting for something to happen. It’s then when I hear a sound, a soothing sound, the sound of bacon frying on a griddle. But I don’t smell any bacon. More to the point why would there be bacon frying in a doctor’s office. It’s then I pinpoint the source of the sound. It isn’t hard, being that it’s my face. I let out another nervous poot and the nice acid lady backs away with a very concerned look on her face, not a good sign in a doctor’s office. I very politely say, “Hey. Don’t mean to bother the process or anything, but my face sounds like bacon. What does this mean for me?” She very calmly collects herself, turns to me and, like an enthusiastic kindergarten teacher, says “It means you’re going to the hospital right now.”

The next few hours seem to escape my memory. Maybe I breathed in too many of my face fumes. I do remember waking up in a hospital bed and a cloth over the side of my face that sizzled. There were no serious burns, but it was recommended I never do that again. I know my face isn’t supposed to burn like that, but I would be lying to you if I said that there was not a single pimple on that side of my face. I mean it did smell like burnt rubber, but you win some you lose some.