“have you ever thought of taking that off?” my coworker asks me, pointing at the big brown mole on my forehead.
taking it off? it has been a part of me for longer than i can remember, a bump, a rise, a calling card, and occassional eww factor. in high school, you could never tell me from one thousand other ackward and overdeveloped teenagers with big hair, dreamy eyes and a penchant for studio head shots. our clothes were all the same, our heights were all the same, our giggles were all the same, even our poetry was all the same bad sentimental rhymes of teenageers everywhere. but if you asked for the girl with the big mole, they’d all point to me.
“you know, the one from 4/7 with the thingie on her forehead.”
“aha, she is right there, trying to weasel out of physical ed.”
and so i was.
my mole is a sign of my artistic temperament. it is the source of one thousand and one exotic fantasies and midnight makeup sessions in my bathroom. it is exactly like the one Angelina Jolie has but a bit bigger and more to the center. (it seems that the only things we do not share are body volume, wallet size and Brad Pitt. practically twins separated at birth.)
Indians are drawn to it, and can’t take their eyes off it. kids reach out and honk it just like a squishy horn. a sick friend of mine calls it my “third nipple”. (which makes it clear why he insists on greeting me by kissing my forehead. for a while, i thought i evoked his paternal insticts.) my maternal grandma says it it comes from my father’s side of the family, because her side has the clearest skin this side of the sun. which is true, but both sides of my family have been blessed with clear skin. and moles. mine are on the cheek (vanity is my sin) , the neck, the cleavage (indication of beautiful kids), palm (money out sign), and forehead (artistic tendencies). i have not looked carefully at the nether parts yet.
i have been asked time and again to think about removing it. it is a cancer danger, grows hair so fine you can hardly see and it looks weird. the mere though gives me inner turmoil and sadness, like loosing a limb. if i remove it, my face will not be the same. and yes, i won’t be able to tell left from right anymore. the only way i can tell is by touching my mole because i know it is on the right of my face.
“but i like it. ” comes my strangled reply, which my coworker classifies as another weird thing about her weird cubicle neighbor. she can’t see why i do not want to be prettier. i can’t see why either, so i rub it in search of a decision, then stare at it from the car mirror. hmm, my perverted friend is righ, it does look like a nipple.
as we get out of the car, a street bum looks at it and says:
“beautiful, just beautiful miss”
oh yes, the mole stays.