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Peekaboo

January 5th, 2019 Leave a comment Go to comments

You know the game. Anyone the world over who’s ever played with a baby for longer than a minute knows it. It’s simple, cross-cultural, and the easiest way to get an infant to laugh. Where did you go? Boop! There you are! Under six months and he or she is genuinely surprised at your sudden return from behind your palms. Past that, they’re gratified their expectation of your reemergence came true, and after a year or so, they’re just humoring you for the attention. Regardless of the reason, it always works.

Sometimes far too well. Last week, I visited my niece and before I was done playing with her, I had literally lost my face. One minute she’s cooing and giggling away, and the next I’m getting no reaction at all. I went to try again, put my hands over my face, and felt…nothing. No nose, no mouth, just a smooth plane of skin. Even my whiskers had vanished. Panicked, I ran to the bathroom and looked in the mirror, which confirmed that my face had indeed vanished.

Now, of course you’re wondering how I could see myself without any eyes or even the sockets, and obviously I have no idea. If I understood that, I would probably have a considerably better handle on what to do next. Instead I’ve been wandering from one doctor’s office to the next wearing a ski mask and sunglasses and terrifying every medical professional I encounter. They’ve yet to even try diagnosing me or letting me finish the story before they run out of the room screaming. It’s very disheartening.

While I wish I could tell you how my bizarre tale will end, there’s just no way to know. My anxiety’s through the roof and I scare the daylights out of anyone I try to confide in. My sister chased me out of her apartment after it happened, swatting at me with a broom. Only later over the phone was I able to convince her she must have been having an acid flashback. So, when people tell you something’s just a kids’ game to explain how innocuous it is, my advice would be to proceed with caution. They’re not always quite so simple.

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