Bitapaka 100 years on - ANMEF programs in PNG & Australia
PNG & Australia: Don’t be shy, say what you think

Wart a parasite! Reflections on the life of a mole


An entry in The Crocodile Prize
Steamships Short Story Award

Imagine a part of your body, a body that you loved and admired, suddenly becomes an issue of dispute….

I LOOKED IN THE MIRROR and hated the person staring back at me. I hated me for letting this mole grow on my face.

I realised that this mole above my right eye was hideously ugly, that it was a parasite and that I had been its host for as long as I could remember. It just sat there and grew and grew.

I had ignored it, thinking it was some kind of beauty spot. But, drat, it has labelled me as ‘mole face’ and ‘frog frontal’. Or others, trying to be polite, just say, ‘Wow, that mole on your face, it’s so in the front’.

Actually it is more like, ‘Dang, what an ugly black mass on your face.’

For a second, I lost it and thought that the person looking back at me was from some kind of bad photo. Then, for the second time, I saw how ugly it was. It was sponge-like, proudly perched on the top of my eye as if it has a mind of its own ….

Flashing, reclining, sunbathing and saying, ‘See me, I am so wanted. This woman has loved me for the last number of years. She has done nothing to destroy me. She thinks, I am some kind of beauty spot, but look at me, I have grown and I am growing. And my mission is to plaster her whole face. So people can look at me and say, ‘Ssshit ain’t that one helluva growth!’

The first thing babies do when I take them in my arms is reach up and touch this mole. When they touch it, they feel how spongy it is and giggle. Then their hands try to pull it off. Their little fingers grip onto this hanging black parasite and try to rip it off. And when they can’t, they suddenly burst out crying in fits of anger. Later I realised that maybe it reminded them of a nipple.

Last year, I took my son to the Internet cafe to download some games. After we bought our time code at the counter, I was leading my son to a computer when I heard a woman’s voice.

‘Hey, Christian! What are you doing here?’ the woman shouted. I turned around and looked behind me, thinking she was addressing somebody else. As my son and I sat at a computer, the woman screamed right in the midst of all the internet nerds.

‘Christian, you mole face. I bashed you up in Moresby, what are you doing here? Are you stalking my husband?’ she got up from her chair and faced me. I realised then that the woman was harassing me.

‘Are you talking to me? Do I know you?’ I stood up and towered over her. The look on her face changed and she cowered (I am 170 cm). She grimaced and shame filled her mousy face.

‘Sister, I am so sorry. Christian had a mole exactly like yours and she is a Bougainvillean too. I apologise. Please forgive me,’ she explained tearfully.

‘Look sister, I am black, but I might not be Bougainvillean. I might be Sepik, Kavieng or Daru.   Next time, use your common sense. Goodness, woman, grow up!’ I was going to tell her more   like; your husband is not a kid if he wants it with another woman, how are you going to stop him!

 My son was upset and he said, ‘Mum, that lady called you a mole face.’

‘Yes, darling, she did.’

‘Were you ready to thrash her?’

‘Yes, I was ready to chew the daylights out of her.’

‘Why didn’t you mum?’

‘She mistook me for somebody else and she apologised.’

‘I hate her for calling you mole face.’

Years ago, I was a relief teacher at Ela Murray International School. I was asked to relief the Prep class teacher. I haven’t been in that class before and when I walked in and said good morning, a cute little expatriate boy looked up at me and the first thing he said was, ‘Yuck, there is a black wart on her face.’ I nearly murdered that child back then, but the idea of Bomana was unspeakable, so I just smiled and read The Wombat Stew to them.

I once called a prominent real estate manager, whom I had met at a BSP bank queue. I told him my name and asked him to fax me the empty office spaces for rent. He couldn’t figure out, who I was and I kept trying to refresh his memory.

‘We were on the BSP queue last Monday. You gave me your business card,’ I said.

‘Aaaaah yes, yes. I remember now. You have that black wart on your face,’ then he laughed as loud as he could.

Yeah, wart or not your memory sucks like your grandmother! No, I didn’t say that, but I was quite embarrassed that he would label me like that.

I can go on and on and tell you, how and what this repugnant mole has put me through all these years. As I look back now, I see that most of those supposing positive remarks were merely sarcasm in disguise.

This revolting overgrown piece of ‘skin gone wrong’ is definitely getting extinguished in 2014. It has had an exquisite lifestyle, perched on higher ground. It has levelled itself with my brain and has started to ‘think’ that it is a contributing ‘part’ of my body.

But let me tell you, wart, you are going and it ain’t gonna be an easy ride. I will make sure Dr Florres laser beams you. And when you are dried out like some mutilated pubic hair, I will see to it myself that your roots are sawed out and bottled in hydrogen cyanide.

So, dear mole, enjoy your last week roosted up high on lofty shore. Because before long you will be erased.

As soon as I woke up on ‘mole extinguishing day ’, I got on Google.

It was because of the dream.

I bled when the parasite was smothered. Blood was dripping down my right eye and just kept on coming. The doctor had this chainsaw in front of me, getting ready for the second round as I had requested; ‘saw out the roots and drop it in hydrogen cyanide.’ The noise was unbearable.

I woke to the sound of the lawn mower outside.

Google did not exactly give, me what I asked for. There were so many articles on moles, which was totally unbelievable. And to really play with my head, Google said the study of mole is called Moleosophy. I don’t know whether this is some kind of scam or crap, but check this out; ‘Interpretation Of Moles & Birth-Marks On Your Body’. This was getting really interesting so I clicked to that page and just couldn’t believe that this black membrane has a case of its own. This is what it said;

(DIV) The interpretation of moles and birth-marks depends upon two factors: their actual physical appearance, and the part of the subject’s body upon which they appear.

Did you know that a mole on either of your cheeks could classify you as serious, studious and   solemn? The study of moles is called Moleosophy.

The location of a mole, its size, shape and colour can be interpreted as indicators of your character, as well as generalities for the future. Twin moles could have yet another connotation.

Moleosophy, when co-related with interpretations of other psychic sciences, substantiates personality and character readings, and provides a complete view of the subject. 

Wow, and then it just got better. It went on to interpret moles based on their location. I scrolled down to Eyebrow and this is its reading; ‘If a mole is located on the right eyebrow, it signifies that these people will have a highly active life and will be successful in all ventures.

I looked up Gypsy Wisdom, ‘The mystical meaning of moles’ and this is what it says;

The gypsies of the world, whether they be from Romania, Spain, Ireland or America are superstitious people (yes, am Papua New Guinean and am quite superstitious too; keep going!) particularly when it came to moles on the body. They believed the appearance and placement of moles represent a personality characteristic of the individual or it was a ‘sign’ of things to come.

Again, I scrolled right down to Eyebrows. This is its reading; ‘If you have a mole on the right side of your eyebrow, it signifies great success, a wonderful marriage, many healthy children and wealth. If it is on the left side, it signifies cowardice, addiction, few children and bitterness in life.

Goodness today is my appointment day at Dr Florres Clinic! What am I going to do?

I thought of the weird dream I had last night and totally freaked out. Maybe, I should mull this mole, when the feeling of the dream fades away.

Do I believe any of the stuff, I read about on Google? Of course, I do. All of us Google every bit of information these days, don't we?


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Marlene Dee Potoura

Thanks Barbara...let's laugh a bit and forget about the problems for a wee while.

Mrs Barbara Short

Thanks Marlene. Great read.
Takes my mind off all the real problems in PNG today.
I still love PNG, warts and all!

Marlene Dee Potoura

Thank you Francis. Yes, part 2 coming soon!

Marlene Dee Potoura

Yes Michael. It's amusing and just totally hilarious!

Marlene Dee Potoura

Hi Jeff! Google it and see, hahaha. I am glad you enjoyed it. Thank you

Francis S Nii

I like the frankness in your telling of the story, Marlene. Nice piece and am looking forward to part 2 of it.

Jeff Febi

Great story! Couldn't stop reading until the end.

I have a little one just under the right eye. After using a finger nail cutter to erase it off my face several times, I gave up. Later a girl told me she liked it. So I kept it to this day...ahaha.

I shall Google now and check if it gonna bring me good luck for the remainder of my boring life.

Michael Dom

I like this amusing story, warts and all.

Marlene Dee Potoura

Yes, just about brain storming and drafting: Wart a parasite; the mole's point of view. Phil hope you'd enjoy this one again.

Marlene Dee Potoura

Hi Phil, the mole's still here. Hahaha. There should be a Part 2?

Phil Fitzpatrick

Great stuff. One of the most enjoyable reads on Attitude in months.

But, c'mon, what happened to the mole?

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