I have too many flaws to be perfect; too many scars that are etched too deep to be erased. Each line marks a new imperfection, marks a new discovery that sent me careening down into an abyss of darkness. Each groove on my skin is a reminder of the rickety bridges I built to save myself from the iron grip that threatened to extinguish the flicker of light that still burned in me.
Each welt that has been raised on my back, still painful to the touch, is the reminder that my foolishness has not gone unnoticed; that despite all my attempts to conceal myself, the cuts and grooves betrayed me. A new pain makes me hiss in delight; arch my wounded back until it burns and makes me scream, because the pain is a beautiful, near perfect relief from the hysterical disappointment that plagues me.
The ache is something I crave, and it isn’t too difficult to make it repeat itself. It’s easy enough to cry out in relief as the pain returns, flooding me and making me see white behind my eye-lids. It is even simpler to make the pain return, a flash of silver drawing new lines on my skin and colouring the ever-growing pattern with crimson that is too dark to be a true red.
The number of scars that are painted on my skin is hard to tell; some thin and delicate, but others crude and mercilessly knotted; the skin once having been cruelly carved in moments of sheer stupidity. They cross each other, and it is hard to keep track of each one, hard to trace the scar from beginning to end because they run into each other like railroad tracks at a junction.
It’s beautiful, really, to see the mesh of lines, the layering of different shades of colour that are in a bright contrast against both one another and my skin. The pattern runs down my wrist, the blue mesh of veins peeking through the thin, pale skin adding a hue to the wounds that I hadn’t yet seen. The lines thicken slowly, and the memories of these cuts, these old lines that have browned and scarred the would-be untouched flesh on the insides of my arms, makes me shudder.
The first of them had been an accident.
The second had not.
The first scar had faded, even if the memory of the memory of receiving was still fresh in my mind. That was the first, accidental bridge that had been crafted by clumsy fingers and sheer coincidence. It was long, jagged and smooth, now that it had been layered over with darker, fresher lines that were straighter and calculated.
I have too many flaws to be perfect; it wasn’t a secret, it wasn’t something I kept buried in a chest with the key hidden. However, nor was it something I wore pinned on my shirt, like a fool who wears his heart plastered over himself. It was a fact, like the way the sun rose, or the way the stars shone beside the moon each night.
There is no shame to say this, even if it makes me less perfect than the world wants me to be.
One day, I may tell you that each scar means a moment of weakness; that each line represents nothing more than my selfish desire to feel something.
On another day, though, I might tell you that those are the cracks in the bridges I built with the people closest to me. That those are the chips I made in the rocks of my promises and friendships.
Then again, the cuts may be nothing more than simple cuts, each one a coincidence between my clumsy hands and bad judgement.
And despite everything; the flaws, the imperfections, the broken bridges and even the scars, the sliver of light will still burn white in the abyss.