I press on the bruise, trying to make hurt again. I do it all the time, worry at old wounds in an effort to evocate their peaks. Nothing’s ever the same though, not even pain. I feel like an artist rendering ruins in digital 3D, disastrously flat extrapolations despite the ability. I could fill a gallery with these abstractions, obtruded into seperate wings with woeful didactics strung as diegeses for each — heartbreak half-formed; scars smoothed over time; anguish in relief; negative space — all would be incompetent. The pains of expression are so acute I’m desperate to sketch them.
Remember when you kicked me in the head and told me it was my fault, I’d leaned into it, or when you took me by the throat and told me to apologise for upsetting you? I want to say it’s funny now, but it’s not. I wake with the fruits of your labours festering on my skin, caught in iced droplets of sweat that chill me in ways I can never say. I wish I had scars that could heal, something to show for the violence and pain, something I could use and not merely the memory of abuse.
Running elbow to wrist, clinically straight but raggedly hewn, faded though it was the scar always confused. ‘I did it to know I could,’ he told me once, ‘after that I knew I could do anything.’ I was jealous of his relentless confidence and experimental certainties. ‘Life is a trick,’ he went on, ‘it’s not about what anybody thinks, their reality is irrelevant. Despite our ability to share, create, and converse, we are all in our own way forever isolated. You’ll only ever be you, so striving for something other is pointless.’ But I still wish I was him.