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My papa had always told me that you really had to dig deep to find out the best secrets.  
He was right.  
I realized it when I was about fifteen; it was the day I'd woken up to find the biggest pimple I'd ever seen, right on my own body. 
I mean, one of those zits that swells up REALLY big.  
I hate those big ones, too. 
The big ones, the kind without a white head on them so you can pop them. You can squeeze and squeeze and press on them, but the white stuff just won't pop out. You can even dig with a needle to find the white under the blood, because if you don't get the white part out it will never heal up, no matter how many times you peel the scab off.  
AND, if you just give up and leave the big red ones alone, and go to SCHOOL looking that way, the other kids WILL manage to see the pearly white under the skin, and you'll never hear the end of it then.  
Pizza face, or baloon.  
 
And I noticed it was always dark when daddy would come into my room, teasing me; ''I know you're mad about me taking out your nightlight, but honey, you're fifteen years old now, and you know by now it doesn't matter if it's light or dark, that big red one is still gonna be there!'' 
And then; ''Pizza face!'' 
Sometimes my daddy could be so mean when he was trying to be funny.  
 
But....one thing I've learned lately is, once a zit gets just SO big, you can pop it just from the pressure.  
Lately, I've been sharpening a big knitting needle on a whetstone I found in the basement.  
Because....this is one of those REALLY big ones.  
I mean, like, it's not big ENOUGH yet, even though the bleeding stopped almost three months ago, and there's no scab left to pick off.  
Not even any white stuff. 
Sometimes, I lay awake at night, worrying about it showing.... 
....thinking about that big white pearl forming in there, wondering if it's worth more than I am.  
 
I think I'll slide that big needle right through my belly button tonight, right when he walks through my bedroom door.

------
david ''doc''byron


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