Nobody thinks of moles as beauty marks anymore. If anything, moles are looked at with suspicion and fear – I know I should pay attention. Despite my darker skin, I have had my share in the sun, during long summers when I would party well into the night and fall asleep on the beach during the day. A few burns marred some vacation days, all spent without a care in the world about skin cancer or aging dermis. And now I am on a first name basis with my dermatologist who, bless his heart, does not lecture me on sunblock or stupid exposure. He pretty much told me that whatever damage has been done, it already took place years ago and now I have to live with the consequences which, so far, have been pretty benign.
But there was a mole I was particularly attached to – dead centered in the middle of my chest, where a pearl dangling from a longish chain could be. It was a perfect oval, slightly raised and possibly appealing only to me. It had been there since I can remember, never-changing and, despite my mother’s suggestion that I have it removed, it endured on, next to the small boobs that she is still harping on I have enhanced.
A couple of months ago, while playing with Portia, a particularly boisterous thump scratched my favourite mole and left it hanging in a rivulet of blood. Determined to save my friend, I kept it bandaged for a couple of weeks in a futile attempt to see it reattach itself which, once again, proves that I was not paying attention during any of my biology classes. It became an inconvenience every time I would wear long jewelry that would get caught in it, or whenever I absent-mindedly scratched myself or the dogs put their paws on my chest (yes, they do that).
I had to resign myself to kissing my mole goodbye and yielded to the knife of the good doctor, longingly looking at the dark, oval button being sealed for a biopsy and permanently removed from my life.
Soon, small boobs aside, my chest will look perfect and smooth and I will be the only one missing my beauty mark – it’s the small imperfections that also make us who we are and not the airbrushed photographs we all aspire to look like. Oh, I still have plenty of them to go around before I can compete with Kate Moss but today I am wearing a high neck top not to hide the band-aid but, rather, not to be reminded of my absent friend every time I walk in front of a mirror. While in the dermatologist’s waiting room, I read a Botox pamphlet cover to cover and analyzed the before and after photos of people who had their frown marks smoothed. I briefly considered investing $400 and then I looked in the mirror on the opposite wall. “Nah! don’t want to be too perfect…”