Monday, September 26, 2011

The Other Side

I went to the dermatologist on Friday for my annual skin check.

I go to a "real" dermatologist who happens to office inside a cosmetic surgery factory. She has nothing to do with cosmetic surgery, but the comic collateral for me in visiting such a place is positively colossal. Every time I go, there is some surreal moment that reminds me I'm visiting an entirely different world.

This time, though, I heard what has to be one of my favorite stories ever.

I was checking out, and there was a woman at the front desk who was telling a story to the woman checking out ahead of me.

Now, the woman at the desk, even though she was in her 20s, had a face with the unnaturally angular look of someone who's had quite a bit of "work" done. Cosmetic surgery had made her fail the uncanny valley.

Then I noticed something odd. Her right cheek seemed darker--like a tan-- than her left cheek.

I wish I could recount her dialogue verbatim, but I'm just going to have to tell you what I remember. As she explained it, the right side of her face was darker because sunlight from windows in the waiting room shone on that side of her face in the afternoon. Because of the way her desk was positioned, she didn't get the sun on the left side of her face.

Normally, she said, this wouldn't be a problem, but she was taking various pills that were supposed to help her skin that caused extreme sensitivity to light. So now she had to put sunscreen on the right side of her face in the afternoons to keep both sides of her face the same color.

Basically, what she'd done was turn her face into a Rube Goldberg machine.

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