It began the day after I stopped taking my medication. At first there was merely a small, inflamed spot on the tip of my nose – like a slightly infected pimple. We’ve all had those. But then it turned deep red and began to grow. No one else seemed to notice. I knew, however, that they were simply choosing to avert their gazes for fear of embarrassing me. I sensed a quiet judgement in their furtive glances and sympathetic smiles. Like me, they saw it spreading across my face, filling the fat beneath my cheeks with pockets of hot, squishy pus that bubble and shift at the slightest touch. Earlier today, one of the secretaries complimented me on my eyeliner, then inquired as to where she might purchase some for herself. I understood her fascination. She couldn’t help but stare at the bulbous growths while they pulsated beneath my eye sockets, then spewed murky yellow froth onto her perfect white dress. Grinning, she continued the conversation as if nothing unusual had occurred. But again, I knew; just as I recognized that the modelesque taxi driver peering into the rear view mirror couldn’t avoid locking his eyes onto the thick strips of seaweed-like fungus snaking their way across my wart-infested forehead. When, suddenly, he wiped his nose, I realized at once that he did so in response to the repelling odor of my putrefying skin. So I tipped him unusually well as I considered a cure. That was 5:17 yesterday evening. It’s now just after midnight, which means I’ve been removing the infection for over six hours. I started with a steak knife (Don’t worry, I sterilized everything in Smirnoff), and it was far more effective than I had hoped for. All told, I managed to slice off the majority of the protruding cysts – sixteen in total – which filled half my bathroom sink. Afterward I switched to a serving fork, so as to lance the two dozen bright purple boils that wound down my neck and across my breasts…With every cut I feel better, but there is more – so much more – to remove from my arms and legs. From inside of me. After all, the virus is now in my blood. And all of it has to come out.