Rune Rofke - Glenn Emery

That's Gonna Leave a Mark


Today was the last day of competition and I was able to get victory with $180. My goal was $160.

I also have a huge pink scar on my left hip that I didn't have two weeks ago. It's about the size of a fifty-cent piece. A couple days after the boil first appeared, I was getting sick and feverish. So Captain took me to a clinic. I guess the doctor knew I was a missionary because he made a joke. He said, "I heard the devil bit you." I practically freaked. To him it was funny, but to me it was literally true. The snake had bitten me through my pouch filled with satanic coins. I didn't find it funny at all. It was really painful.

He said the boil was a staph infection caused by not keeping clean enough, and it was true. We were out all day in the stifling heat, always covered with sweat and dirt, and many times at night we collapsed into our sleeping bags too exhausted to shower. The boil wasn't ready to lance yet. He said it wouldn't be "ripe" for a couple more days. He wrote me a prescription for antibiotics and gave me some salve to put on it to help draw the pus to the surface.

I kept fundraising and taking Tylenol for the pain and fever. And then one night while I was out blitzing I noticed it didn't hurt so much. I ducked into a men's room at a gas station and dropped my pants. There was a huge white bulge in the center of the boil.

I popped it with one of the flag pins I was selling. Pus mixed with blood started pouring out. It was unbelievable how much fluid there was. For 20 minutes it kept coming and coming and coming. And if I applied even a little pressure, it gushed out even more. The waste basket was filling up with all the paper towels I was using.

For the next couple days I carried around a package of gauze pads and white medical tape. I had to change the dressing every couple hours, and it would always be soaked with pus and blood. It was both disgusting and fascinating to me. I never could imagine that much fluid coming from a wound. I felt I was purging my body of a lifetime of sin.

Finally the oozing stopped. I could see the tip of the solid core. I took a pair of tweezers and pulled it out. It looked like a giant grub, and it left a gaping hole in my flesh. The core was so big it was scary, almost as big as my pinkie, but I knew it was over. I continued changing the dressing every few hours over the next several days. Finally it scabbed over and now there's just a smaller scab in the middle of a bright pink crater.

I'm going to have this mark of the beast for the rest of my life. I feel like Jacob after wrestling the angel. 

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