There was a cutter on the TV. Some lonely kid looking for attention. His feelings bled thin in small red lines. Or sometimes curves, or zigzags, or in the form of perfectly shaped crosses that would make a vampire rile in his wooden staked coffin.
"He should just man up and stop cutting himself."
Her and I, we've got stories for every scar spanning the full length of our bodies. The television makes us begin to exchange their origins and like people, scars love to talk about where they came from...
"I almost cut off my thumb."
"I think you told me that, check out these bruises. They’re from last night in the street, when I tripped and fell…. By the way, my right foot is starting to swell."
"Bummer, check out those red veins."
"That's just a scratch."
"Oh, sorry. I initially mistook it for eczema anyways."
"I've got cuts up and down my right arm. They’re kind of hard to see.”
"That’s weird, your skin feels flawless.'"
"Yeah, but don’t touch, just look real close…"
"I still don't se... er, um?"
Scars. And lots of them.
I stay positive and try not to ask about the crusted ridges strewn like dirty socks across her skin. Instead, I light a cigarette and sit back to watch Chris Angel’s, Mindfreak. After five minutes of professional brain numbing slight-of-hand, she silently stands up, almost on cue with a commercial, and cries a solemn, “be right back!”
Twenty minutes and two cellular phone calls later, she returns to the couch and hides under a comforter. Her right hand is glowing. It’s been totally polished clean; pale-pink on top of cadaver white. Throughout the duration of a half-hour show, her hand’s become marble that looks like it’s been scrubbed too hard with gritty public restroom soap.
Beneath the gleam were red trails and brown rusted segments. They flowed between lifelines turned peach, resembling streams seen from an airplane flying over
With a deep breath I realized that while I had been watching a man break free from a straight jacket in a shark infested tank, she'd been downstairs in the dark, humming quietly and cutting herself over a sink.
In a poor attempt to ignore what I had seen, I tried to stay positive, and asked...
"So, how come you always wear sleeves?"