A Hidden World Under the Skin

Junia Ancaya

Florida, spring 1980

I was in for a surprise on that warm central Florida afternoon. I had just returned from a trip to Canada with numerous black fly bites on my face and neck: large, painful, bright red bumps impossible to camouflage. In this deplorable condition, I entered the examining room in my office.

A couple of patients in their sixties, small and plump, sat holding hands. She had her silvery hair in a long braid flowing down her shoulder and tied with a rubber band. So did he. They were dressed in long-sleeved plaid shirts and overalls. Wore baseball caps and leather boots.  In one word, they had the typical country-folk looks. I sensed in them a nervous anticipation.

The woman checked my face, turned to her companion, and said with a surprised look, “Honey, it seems like the doctor has them too.”

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