The Heartbreak of Psoriasis

Robert Lopez


We looked at each other from across a narrow hallway or what seemed like a narrow hallway. It may've been an amusement park or bank lobby. Vision loss is one of the side effects and so it is to be expected. There were other people occupying the same space, I'm almost sure, looking at each other, doing what people do in hallways, in amusement parks and bank lobbies. That is to say they were conducting the business of their lives. Anyone could see this, if they could see at all, if the accident hadn't totally compromised their vision and they were paying attention. It's what my father called giving a damn, which he said people didn't do anymore. I was one of the exceptions, one who paid attention because they gave a damn and why not. What else do I have to do on a weekday morning. I don't have a job. I had one once, but they told me I didn't have to do that job anymore, that the job had been completed to everyone's satisfaction. They gave me about a million dollars and sent me home, but not before thanking me for my considerable efforts. They said they couldn't have done it without me, which was true. I was essential. Consequently I am resting on my laurels. I do this everyday with gusto. They can sell tickets. No one actually does this, sell tickets, so it's on me to say that I do this both inside the house and out, which is how I found myself on the day we are currently discussing. Because what started all of this, if you recall, was that woman on the other end of the hallway or bank lobby. I don't mean to say she was the one who caused the accident because I believe she had nothing to do with it. I'll believe this to my dying day, which the doctors assured me won't be anytime soon, which was both a relief and disappointment to hear. I imagine almost everyone has the same reaction in regards to their life expectancy. Sure, none of us wants to die, but if we did at least we won't have to figure out what to have for dinner tonight. Sometimes what to have for dinner tonight is the worst part about still being alive, about the accident not finishing me off once and for all. I'm sure other people feel the same way or at least I hope I'm sure of this. I can't be too sure since the accident, about anything. For instance, I think my father was the one who said people didn't give a damn anymore, but it may've been my mother who said that exact same thing about my father. I think I called one or the other up after the accident to tell them what happened, but I can't remember what they might've said about it. They probably said they were sorry but what did I know about heartbreak because I didn't have psoriasis. I think both of them had psoriasis and resented me for not having it. I always suspected the only reason they had a child was so that he could have psoriasis so they could make fun of him. Another thing I can't be too sure about is the person on the other end of that narrow hallway. It's possible it was a man standing there but if it was, in fact, a man, this man had the most delicate features and lustrous hair yet featured on a male human being. So there we were looking at each other from across this bank lobby and a decision had to be made. Because if you don't make a decision when it comes time to make one you might as well give up and go home forever. It doesn't matter if the decision is wrongheaded or right, so long as you go all the way with it. And so this is what I did and why we're discussing it now. All of it comes back to the accident, to them giving me the million dollars for my essential efforts and sending me home to rest on my laurels with gusto. Or it goes back to the psoriasis, depending on how you look at it, if you give a damn. Of course, some people think they gave me the million dollars and sent me home solely because of the accident, as a way of appeasing me, as a way of shutting me up. I don't mind telling you that I consider this horse and buggy thinking and shall not dignify it with any sort of counter or denial.