Lonely is lonely even if you put a dress on it, send it walking across the page as if it’s an abstract and thoughtful piece in an art show. Lonely is lonely even when you close your eyes to think of a metaphor for it; you send it through the carwash that runs on paint instead of soap, and you wait with eager trepidation to see what marvelous revelations come out, but your hands drop in disappointment because it is lonely that appears before you covered in various pinks and blues.
A scalpel doesn’t make you a surgeon, and a heart doesn’t make you a lover. But, you see, I took that scalpel in one hand and my own heart in the other–picture a girl taking over the world with an insatiable thirst for domination but no understanding of the world she marches to conquer; off she goes! Watch her disappear into the horizon of sunset and mist, her hands trembling but her eyes…filled with the ocean. I began to perform all kinds of surgical procedures on my happiness, vulnerability, self-worth. I touched upon my entire anatomy of silver ribbons and glittering intentions and deep black tar of unidentifiable insecurity without first learning how each part of me functioned. I cut blindly and with wicked self-assurance, and as foolhardy confidence morphed into crippling dependence and obsession under the buzzing lights of the surgical lamp, I kept going, kept scavenging through my nascent soul and giving things to
I offered myself on his doorstep, on bended knee, and with wide, adoring eyes. Analgesia: I rummaged in my ribcage, not looking at my drooping innards but his soft face. Things that should have hurt did not, so I kept giving to him; a zealot giving grace to her idol god I continued this idiotic donation service until I realized, too late, as I sat in a pool of my own blood, my fingernails ripped and my innards strewn around me like great and horrible worms, that he was running a disposal service. He was never in the business of loving me, of cherishing my parts I so painstakingly and zealously shaved for him–no, the boy could never hold all of them. Maybe he stored them in his attic or tossed them in the garbage as he headed out for the night, but when I asked him to turn out his pockets, there was lint and someone else’s heart beating next to his. So there I was sitting dejectedly in a puddle of me, realizing so excruciatingly slowly that the boy never wanted me or my fucking parts. I began slamming windows on fingers, shutting doors in faces and renovating for a new season. I severed ties that still connected to the nerves of my heart, and I watched them seize violently and die, smiling, tears running in torrents down my face because it hurt like a bitch but at least I was free. The scars haven’t healed, and if I poke them they bleed a bit, but I’ve successfully invested myself in the salvage and healing business.
I have a scar. It runs from the kiss of my collarbones at the base of neck to my navel. Sometimes, when the grey morning light breathes onto my sheets and my skin, I watch my scar ripple gently. Soft and sweet palpitations with my heart beat, rise and fall like a gentle tide with my lungs. And when it’s dark, and I don’t exist, I trace my fingertips along the scar bumps and ridges like scales on a dragon’s tail, and it’s quiet, and it’s loving, and it’s healing. In the soft morning light, my scar is a breathing thing. It is quiet and benign and so forgiving. And like the millennia of wind caresses a mountain range, my scar smooths out like a satin ribbon and loves me. It is the quiet peace after a catastrophe of multidimensional proportions wrought by powers uncontrollable. It thanks me for its existence and it heals for me. My sleeping dragon’s tail, dormant and powerful.