Theme II: Free Write; “Cancer Catalyst”

By Jennifer Levine


A vast majority of my childhood was spent in a state of panic about my skin.

No. Not the acne that made Domino’s pizza out of our faces, back and chest.

I was terrified of moles.

Yes. Those small, sometimes furry markers that people tend to ignore.

My mother thought it a grand idea to get an early start in my anxiety

by weaving witches tales about the dangers of not religiously applying suntan lotion.

So, yes. I was that kid who reeked of Coppertone in the dead of winter.

Did you know that 1 in 5 Americans will develop skin cancer in their lifetime?

Did you know that a person’s risk for melanoma doubles if they had more than five sunburns?

Did you know that 90% of skin aging is caused by the sun?

(Ok, that last fact should be a blight on my life perspective, but it’s in there to scare the more vain readers.)

The sun would murder our existence if it wasn’t for a fine layer of Ozone-

But, oh yeah, humans are depleting that bubble.

So I will be a disciple of the bare ass suntan lotion cult,

Until the sun stops shinin’

And stops penetratin’ our cells

And stops mutatin’ our genes

And stops growin’ cancer

And stops givin’ me moles.


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