Scar Tissue

I have a scar on my upper thigh that was formed from the sharp edge of a machete blade when I was 17. A thin curve of missing cartilage behind my right ear from surgery in the 4th grade. Three little scars from knee surgery this fall, fresh and red on my right knee cap; smaller in size then in impact on my life. I have misshapen blobs, barely lighter than my skin, all up and down my legs left over from bug bites scratched much too viciously after summertime campfires in the woods. I have bruises and spots and sunburns and scars. Scratches and bites and nicks in my skin.

I’m made up of imperfections. My skin is the title page to the story of my life, a story still gaining chapters and footnotes, a story I’m writing as I live it. Each scar tells a story, each scratch a different tale. The bruises make up who I am, and if you press them hard enough the colors change and the words spill out.

Surgery scars, before the stitches were gone.
The spot on top of my right hand, still shiny and pink from when I burned it on Mike's oven three days after New Year's catches the reflection of florescent lights as I move my fingers across the keys. Whenever I catch it glimmering I think of overcooked potatoes and laughing so hard that milk comes out my nose.

When I was in high school I spent time every morning in front of the mirror, using makeup to cover up my scars. I’m less ashamed of them now. They hint at all of the things that make me up. They are a visceral and visible proof of the life I’ve lived so far.

When my parents drove me up to Ohio for my freshman year of college we listened to the audiobook of Tina Fey’s Bossypants. In the book Tina tells the story of how she got the scar on her face, and how she judges people based on how long after meeting her they ask about it’s origin. It makes her feel uncomfortable, like it’s the thing people are just waiting to find out the truth about. The only thing that they want to ask.

I want people to ask. I want to tell.

These imperfections are stories. The flaws that make me whole.

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