“It’s not Leprosy” By Chad Robert Parker

Her skin was peeling off her body. We kids scurried from her afraid of something more scary than the “cheese touch” as described in “Diary of a Wimpy Kid.” The adults who asked her about it seemed completely satisfied with the explanation of a Florida vacation. I thought it was something akin to the show “Containment” and I wondered why anyone would let this girl be at school at all.

Then I experienced the desert heat of my favorite vacation at Lake Powell in Utah. Now I knew how a sunburn could appear like leprosy. I have never ever had a sunburn so bad, before or since. But let me just say it was worth it. I had layer upon layer of skin peeling off and burning again and yet I could not help but get back in the water and splash around until the day is long. We applied supposed water repellent sun screen lotion over and over our skin but everyone came away so red stained and body pained, nonetheless. Kids then avoided me at school.

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