Memories of My Skin

by kawrage

I think my skin has a mind of its own.

I’ve resigned myself to the belief that I will never be able to grasp the inner workings of my skin. After years of scrubbing and rubbing, pushing and pulling, organic soap bars and toxic sulphates, dermatologist visits and unwanted advice from the neighbourhood aunties, I’ve grudgingly accepted that I will never truly come to understand my skin.

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I like to imagine the breakouts as outbursts of emotions, the sudden dryness as side effects of the burdensome feeling of stagnation, the stretch marks as my growth rings . But most importantly, I like to think of scars as lingering memories.

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The scars that refuse to fade – despite my best efforts – are mostly the ones linked to formative experiences.

The gash on my left knee that taught me to always look over my shoulder when playing with boys. The scratch marks that taught me to choose my battles (more) wisely. The scar from the suicide attempt gone awry that remind that there isn’t a huge gulf between failure and perseverance after all.

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The mental and linguistic we find ourselves playing on a daily basis in order to negate, negotiate, and navigate our lived experiences never cease to amaze me.

Whoever taught you that grasping at straws is futile neglected to mention that the alternative is drowning

Afterthought: to live with my skin, I have to give it a life of its own.

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