Parched, I welcomed the arrival of a glass of water. I brought it to my lips, and stopped cold at the faint but sharp stink of chlorine.
“Pityriasis alba is a common skin condition first characterized by red, scaly patches. These patches resolve leaving areas of scaling hypo-pigmentation, or lighter coloration. Patients do not usually seek treatment of the lesions until this stage because of the concern for the appearance of the scales. The cause of pityriasis alba is unknown ….”
Towards the end, I would suffer such severe episodes that I gave off the rough impression of a leopard.
Short of highly toxic pharmaceuticals, the only treatment was a foul scented topical, whose frequent applications yielded ever diminishing results. Until I followed the pervasive odour, the stench that wouldn’t wash away but linger for days in my hair and skin and nostrils, inducing frequent sneezing fits. The trail ended in a chlorinated swimming pool.
Wednesday, March 4th, 2015
I step outside. From a few doors down, I hear coughing.
A white shroud hangs over everything I see, dimming the light and making vague shapes of the mountains.
I feel a faint burning in the back of my throat and the humbling, inescapable acrid smell/taste of burning capital.