My short story ‘Dermatology’ will be appearing in the inaugural issue of [Untitled] (ed. Les Zigomanis). Detailing the humiliation of a boy with severe acne, ‘Dermatology’ is an exception to the usual stuff that I get published. It is not ethnic lit, and it is over 700 words, so I’m excited to see it in print. Here’s an excerpt for all you peeps who are excited with me:
The tablets didn’t give him indigestion, but they made his face worse. At the station, he’d keep his head bowed and his eyes on the yellow line whenever the girls from MLC walked past. He could still see their legs though. He saw a lot of leg: the girls always wore their skirts above the knees with their socks pushed down to their ankles. If he was lucky, one of them would whip out some concoction smelling of passionfruit or mango, and swirl it over their calves. My skin’s way dry! they’d exclaim. Look. He never did though. He’d move further down the platform. He didn’t want the girls to point at the craters scattered across his cheeks.
The acne was on his back too. He didn’t mind that so much. The only time he took off his shirt was in the guys’ change rooms, and the guys rarely treated him with the same sneering scrutiny. Nobody commented on his face, not when he could catch a ball and hit a six.
But he wanted to get better, and the GP did say that it would take at least a month before he’d see improvement, so he went back to the pharmacy to get his next lot of tablets. Richard Gere in his crisp white coat was once more on duty. Instead of rehashing warnings on sun exposure, he praised the virtues of benzyl peroxide, speaking from experience. Michael searched his face for signs of scarring and found none. His basket of medication was pushed to one side. The pregnant woman next in line took Richard Gere’s words as a cue to start complaining about her constipation.
This Thursday, [Untitled] is getting launched by Kalinda Ashton, author of The Danger Game, so come along and grab a copy for $12. If acne boys don’t rock your world, there’s a sweet selection of short stories from Sophie Moon, Myron Lysenko, Tess Evans, Ryan O’Neill, Stu Hatton (who’s also performing on the night), George Ivanoff, Lena Pasqua, Mal McClenaghan, Elizabeth Jane, Melissa Ferguson, Laura Bovey, Amy Jackson, and Claire Varley. Whoop. Launch details are as follows:
Thursday 10 September 2009
4/6 Ibbottson Street
Watsonia (Melways ref: 20E4)
6.30 – 8.30 pm
Gold coin donation for wine & nibbles would be appreciated