Vassar Student Review

Vassar Student Review

The Appointment I Booked Six months Ago

By Cameron Saltzman

Every dermatologist’s office is trying to sell you Botox.
They promise you “healthy, glowing skin!”
and overpriced product packages.
The lady checks you in asking for your name and date of birth
in a voice so quiet you have to press your face to the glass.
Click space click click click
the computer makes that noise.
She tells me to take a seat.
I sit in a plastic chair.
I wonder if there’s a store that sells this same chair to all dermatologists.
I hope so.
Everyone around me is reading the paper and 70 years my senior.
Is good skin only for the dying?
There is a television in front of me
flashing ads for what you should do and buy
and warnings about sun and cancer and smoking
and the models are so attractive
and I sink in my seat a bit.
Maybe if I lived in this waiting room I’d have no scars
and my skin would glow so brilliantly
that people would be afraid to look at me.
I’m taken to a closet sized office where I’ve been waiting for 10 minutes now.
It’s always like that.
Maybe the suspense makes you think you’re getting what you’re paying for.
Looming to my right are four cursive certificates in gold frames
assuring me that I made the right choice in being here.
They are stacked one on top of another
all the frames are slightly different.
They all look like my high school diploma.
Maybe Dr. Rockoff will come in soon to do whatever he’s supposed to.
Maybe he won’t.
Maybe I’ll try to open the door and it’ll be locked and I’ll have to live in this skincare prison cell
surviving off Premium Hand Sanitizer with Aloe and Bacteriostatic .9% Sodium Chloride
as my skin grows indefinitely worse and I die under fluorescent lights.
I can hear him talking to a patient in the other room.
She has really stubborn acne and pimples on her ass.

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