Rye Meetings


I burned myself a few weeks back. The burn was on my forearm. It was small and linear, because I met the side of a cookie sheet. I was making cookies. Not homemade cookies, just some pre-made dough you pull out of the fridge.

Usually, I don’t think twice about burns. I only noticed it when I realized a nearby scar from my senior year had just about faded into my regular complexion.

Scars take a while to fade on my skin, but I don’t really care about marks on my body. I tried to cut my wrists when I was younger — being a suicidal teenager and all. But I could never do it. I’d start, and then I’d get freaked out about the sensation. At that point in my life, I didn’t want help. I wanted people to know I hated myself with a passion. I wanted people to know I felt repulsive. And I still feel the same way now, repulsive. Medication dulls that feeling, though. Medication enables me to feel a lot more than just hate (or at least make it easier to feel something, anything positive), even if hate is an underlying emotion.

The mark from my senior year is the one time I successfully did mark myself for people to see. In short, I felt stupid, numb, and worthless. So I took the end of a wooden pencil where the eraser gone — only the metal ring was left on the end. I took that end of the pencil and started scraping the skin on my forearm. It wasn’t until my friend noticed and grabbed my hands that I stopped. By then I had already scraped off enough skin to show the pink of my flesh.

It could’ve been a larger mark — it only took up a couple of centimeters. And it might’ve been a larger mark, but I didn’t really care about that then. I only noticed the size of the scar now because my burn was half that size and in the opposite direction.

Years later, part of me still wants to burn and mark myself on purpose. Part of me always wants a distinguished scar or scab there on my forearm. But doing that now, no attention will come of it. Adults generally keep to themselves. I’m no teenager under the microscope with teachers watching my every move, making note of success and social deviance.

I guess it’s enough now to know and accept that that feeling will always reside within me. The majority of my being sees little point in marking myself like that.

That’s progress.

. . .

''...How do I look?''

— Faded by Homeshake

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