Acne

Dorian Swift was an average boy, save for one peculiar characteristic, quite noticeable, quite perplexing, inherited from neither mother nor father, a strange and unfortunate affliction. Dorian Swift had green acne.

He had no more and no less acne than other boys his age. It was uncomfortable, and eradicated only with proper bathing habits and skin creams. Yet, owing perhaps to the air – the doctors said it could be an allergic reaction to electromagnetic activity, such as cell phone use, wireless internet, television remotes, etc. – or perhaps to a mutation deep in his genes, from puberty to adulthood Dorian’s face was host to a green menace.

His classmates came up with all sorts of nicknames. “Frogface.” “Toadstool.” “Swiftzilla.” “Zibbit.” “Alligatorian.” “Pimplesaurus Rex.” And Dorian spent his teenage years, at the height of his hormonal chaos, angry and sad, mad and ashamed, embarrassed, annoyed, self-loathing. He went to great lengths to burn the acne off his face, ending only with scars that took years to heal, and his skin no better than before. He tried staying home, he tried wearing a mask, he tried laughing along with his peers.

In the end nothing worked. He had a green face and he was miserable. But by the time he graduated, he had well learned that no one is perfect. And for the rest of his life Dorian Swift was known as a very mellow fellow, a man with little criticism to offer, and much love to give to those in need. He never spoke ill of those as did better than he, never made much money but was always well maintained by his friends and neighbors. When he died, it could truly be said that the only green thing about Dorian was his face, from time to time.

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