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JWW in Congo: Renee’s Face

URL: http://www.jewishjournal.com/bloggish/item/jww_in_congo_renees_face_20091109

As she entered the room, my eyes froze on her scarred and disfigured face. Skin melted like a plastic mask. I winced and a pain shot through my heart. I instructed my eyes to move off of her face; but where should they go? On their own, my eyes darted to her arms bound in gauze, and then to her hands, charred, de-pigmented. What should I do with my eyes? I forced them to move away from her damaged parts. My heart was racing. I closed my eyes for a moment, and when they reopened, I saw it there, right in front of me. She was wearing my favourite blouse. It was Carole Little’s collection from 1982, the year I graduated law school. I bought a whole collection of lawyer clothes. And then, a decade or more later, when shoulder pads were passé, I donated the blouse (and the suit that it matched) to some rummage sale. Funny, I have thought of that blouse on many occasions. I loved the wide shoulder pads, the floral design and the beautiful rust and red tone colors. I never thought I would see that blouse again … and now, here it was sitting in front of me, worn by Renee, a woman about whom I knew nothing, yet I thought I could tell almost everything just from looking at her face

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