Despite what I might scream at my therapist, I am not perfect. Like a McDonald’s happy meal toy or any Nicolas Cage movie in the last 20 years, I am deeply flawed. Or, I was.
Since I was a tiny baby, I have had one noticeable weak spot on my body, the thermal exhaust port to my body’s death star. It was not a pretty part of my body, and I imagine it brought great shame to the family. Even now, I blame this flaw for all our misfortune. Our poverty, the death of all my pets, the time I lost the charger to my Gameboy, all the fault of this mar on my body. It was a mole, and it lived on my neck.
When I was young, I was graced with a preternatural gift of personal shame. In 5th grade, I was self-conscious at an 8th-grade level. The brown lump on my neck only exacerbated my already proficient sense of worthlessness. I remember a child running up and poking it, and to this day if I see that child all grown up, I’ll either burst into tears or stab him–maybe both.
When I was an awkward teen, and my body started telling me it wanted to get to know other bodies, I was held back by the blight upon my neck. My body would whisper to me “hey, look at her!” and I would yell through the hormonal buzz “but my neck is really, really gross!” Such were the conversations I had with myself because I was certain girls didn’t want anything to do with such filthy-looking person as me. Nevermind that my hair completely covered it up. I never put it together that the only person who could see the brown monstrosity on my neck was me.
Then, we were in college, the mole and I. Slowly I learned not to care about it. I learned perspective. I also learned to use a ruler and recognize that a 5-millimeter wide brown lump isn’t reason enough to exile myself from society. Then, as any self-imposed anti-socialite will do, I found new, better reasons to keep myself separate. I learned that I disliked people as much as I had once assumed they disliked me. My story is the exact reverse of the standard social outcast: people accepted me but I ran from them because they wanted to do things like talk and bond. Some blossom into social butterflies when they get to college. I stayed a contented caterpillar.
Recently, I was seeing a doctor for a reason entirely unrelated to the thing on my neck. She asked about any unpleasant moles or skin tags, and I turned my head so she could take in the full glory of my gross brown lump. She said, “Oh, we have someone that can get rid of that.” In that moment, the ghost of my teenage self leapt from my chest, shrieked with unbridled joy, and was released into the ether having finally completed its unfinished business that had kept it shackled to Earth.
Before he cut it from me, the doctor asked a question, a probing question of the kind that scours the soul and pierces any fiction to find the truth inside: does it have a name? I whispered: Molga.
Then it was gone. Cut from my body, jarred, and sent to a lab. I imagine it now lives in an underground vault below the CDC.