When I was going out with her, she used to be obsessed with moles. She’d hike a t-shirt up to show a vague pinky red dot on her lower back and say, I can’t see it, is that one? Or else peel down a sock and point at some mark on her ankle and say, what do you think, spot or mole?
After we split up it got worse. A friend of hers told me that since she couldn’t talk to me about them, she’d started going to the doctors regularly, first monthly, then weekly, then twice a week. She’d say, are they good ones or not, benign or cancerous, and the doctor would fob her off with literature and websites. He thought she was nuts.
Eventually, according to a friend of a friend, she began to lance the spot-mole-marks herself using toenail scissors and tweezers, picking at them until they bled. She went to a hospital and said, look, look at my skin, and showed them the scabs and sores she’d created on her arms, legs, back and chest. She got some blade out during the consultation and started to hack at a new one behind her knee. She had to get rid of them. They were going to kill her. In the end, the doctor had her sectioned.
When I heard about it I was with someone she’d never met, and I told her that maybe it was my fault, maybe I might have said, half-jokingly just one time that the one in her armpit might be serious when in reality there was nothing there. Or if there was anything, it was an ingrowing hair. She said, and did you tell her to go to the doctor? Or put the toenail scissors in her hand?
– Well shut the fuck up then.