Monday, when I went to work, I looked more or less normal. Or, at least, as normal as I ever look (a clause the phrase "I looked normal" that carries no small amount of weight, given that I am currently wearing a scrub top with children's crayon drawings all over it, including one of a camel labelled "two lump camel" which I find nearly unbearably hilarious). I continued to look like whatever I usually am pretty much all day. And I went to Knit for Life. And I drove home. (I know--wildly exciting day, eh?) On the way home, I noticed a sore spot at the corner of my mouth. It felt like I might be getting a pimple. Nothing more. By the time I got home it had revealed itself to be a nasty, throbbing, pulsating cold sore the size of George Bush's ego, which had gone from zero to "I look completely hideous" in about 12 minutes. I don't think that's fair.
Cold sores are, in my humble opinion, nature's way of saying "You don't need to go out in public anyway, do you? I mean, you have a computer." But I have to work for a living (still no luck getting that job as yarn tester--another thing I don't understand. I'd be TERRIFIC at it.) so I went to work yesterday and hoped against hope that NO ONE WOULD NOTICE. Because, you know, how would anyone ever notice a giant red neon sign at the corner of your mouth saying "I'm infested with dread disease!", right?
I tried looking away from people all the time...but for some reason it seems that trying to do pin-prick skin testing of 24 substances on an arm while looking away does not inspire enormous confidence in the owner of the arm in question. Picky, picky, picky. I thought of wearing a bandaid and saying I cut myself shaving.....while sighing sadly about some strange, made up hormonal condition. I decided that would be no less embarrassing, though, so I gave that one up. Then I thought of saying something mysterious and cryptic like "Well, the circus will have to pay my medical bills for this injury, that's all there is to it. I told them it was crazy to use a piranha, but would they listen? Nooooo." or "Nothing like fire walking--at least, right up until you trip." or "Did you know that snakes don't like to be kissed on the lips? How come no one told me?" or "Don't ever drink tea right out of the kettle. Even if you're really, REALLY craving tea." Sadly, most of those things would imply that I was an adventurous spirit and, since I look about as adventurous as a pat of butter, that was unlikely to convince anyone that I was anything other than quite delusional. Mind you, people tend to stay away from delusional people, so maybe they'd stay far enough back to not see the hideous lesion that used to be my lip.
I thought of wearing a veil and telling people I was trying out a culture a week until I found one that really flattered me; I thought briefly of learning to walk backwards and hoping people would warn me before I ran into anything. I thought of bandaging my whole face for awhile and claiming that I'd had plastic surgery...but I figured they'd expect some type of improvement once I removed the bandages....so that won't work. All in all, I thought long and hard about this thing and came up with oodles of solutions, all of them absolute crap.
Finally, I decided in a moment of Pollyanna-ism that made even me a little nauseaus that I would find something wonderful to wear to work today that would be so interesting and lovely that no one would notice the enormous supturating wound on my face. Turns out, though, that the one I wanted to wear needed ironing.
I should point out here that this "interesting outfit" idea came before I realized that the only thing I could wear that would distract anyone from the leperous looking hole in my lip was perhaps nothing at all....except a bag over my head. And honestly, if they didn't air condition the office so enthusiastically, I'd probably have tried it.
So, even knowing that ironing and I get along about as well as flying insects and large trucks, I hauled out the iron again (it's been a banner week for the iron--I've since had to put it away for a rest) and went to work on the perfect "don't look at my face, please" outfit (or next to perfect, right after pasties, a thong, and a bag). Since we know I love ironing almost as much as I love trimming my eyelashes with an electric hedge trimmer, I opted to turn on CSI in order to have something to look at. Turns out I should have looked occasionally at my hands--I certainly did once I ironed over two fingers. Pity I didn't look just a tad sooner.
So see? It was a virus that caused me to iron my fingers. Absolutely incontrovertible. And you know, I think a week that includes facial lesions and ironed fingers and a local deer inhaling half of a new coral bells plant as if it were the relish tray at Thanksgiving dinner and the turkey was going to be another two hours--
Well, that week ought to include copious amounts of chocolate. Truckloads.
It's not all bad news, though. Hiding out in the house as much as possible so as to avoid frightening the children does afford one some knitting time. Witness, the back of the blue birthday sweater:
and then the birth of the Celtic Jo sock: