This would make a pretty interesting episode of “What Would You Do?”
Most people feel compelled to stop me based on some medical knowledge they posses or some experience they or a friend or family member went through.
They are genuinely concerned.
It’s a moral obligation they are fulfilling.
Some people are just curious.
Like little children they can’t help asking.
Maybe the not knowing drives them crazy.
Maybe they are concerned for their own health.
No I reassure, it’s not contagious.
Fewer still are rude.
I guess their own fears and insecurities get the best of them.
If they don’t understand it they burn it.
Maybe it makes them look cooler.
Even the kind and noble intentions sting.
What to say in those moments?
Give them the knowledge they are thirsting for.
Revel in the rareness.
Play it up.
Shrug it off.
No big deal.
Make them feel guilty.
It all depends.
What answer are they looking for?
None of it really makes me feel any better.
It comes along with the territory.
No reaction or response changes the facts.
It’s all part of being the show.
I know I shouldn’t care.
I didn’t use to care.
I didn’t know that I cared.
I’d rather they ask then come up with their own wrong answers and assumptions.
I’d rather they talk to me then about me.
Not that I can control it.
The wrong perceptions spiral anyways.
Maybe she’s dying.
Maybe she’s a drunk.
Maybe it’s cancer.
Maybe it’s drugs.
Maybe it’s makeup.
Maybe it’s not her fault.
Maybe it is her fault.
Even those who might know don’t know.
It’s her liver.
House would know.
Does she know?
It can’t be stopped.
I see myself through others eyes.
They tell me what they first thought.
They tell me what they hear others say.
They experience the awkwardness with me for the first time.
They wonder how to respond.
How to react.
Nothing to say.
It’s old news to me.
Even those who know me ask me questions.
Commenting on the weather.
The storm they see brewing on my skin.
Or the clear skies displayed on my face, eyes, and body.
As simple to notice and comment on as a new hairstyle.
Or new eye color.
It’s all in good fun.
Which is why I say nothing.
It wouldn’t help.
It would just change the guilt from them to me.