gratuitous image
4 March 1996

Invisible Child

I needed a caffeination and urination break during a long drive to Austin, so I stopped at a fast food restaurant. On the way to the toilet I saw a child wearing a bizarre mask that looked like something from a science fiction movie. I needed three glances to realize that what I thought was a leathery and plastic mask was in fact the child's grafted skin. On the way back to the car I saw the back of the child's head. There was long hair growing from the base of the skull, the unrecognizable child must have been a little girl.

I suppose she owes her life to a medical miracle. Still, it is the most upsetting thing I have ever seen. I regret I was too dumbstruck to even smile and say hello to her.

She rode away in a "Hospital Van for Crippled & Burned Children." I wonder how many other children there are there?

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©1996 David Glenn Rinehart