There's a scar on my head from where my sister hit me with a rock. When I was three and she was five we were camping and she decided that she wanted to throw a rock just as I was running in front of her. I've never seen this scar, but people Tell me it's there.
Two years ago I got "remember" tattooed to my left wrist and the first "r" healed into a tiny, raised scar like braille. I can read "r" by touch.
A few months ago, Reflex made me catch a broken pint glass. If I open my hand wide I can see a thin white line, like a Smile. It arcs upward to the first joint of my thumb where I can still see a raised scar from when my sister closed the metal joint of a reclining chair on it. That's the first time I can remember Bleeding.
In a creative writing class I sat between two women and we were on friendly terms. They were good writers. It wasn't until spring warmed up and both started wearing t-shirts that I saw the woman on my right had scars all along her left wrist "the right way." The woman on my left had raised, horizontal scars all up and down each arm.
After that day in class I went and met K at Aspekt Cafe. I told her about creative writing. She nodded and said, "Sometimes those last your whole life."
Today C drove me to deliver a grant to the Catholic Charities Archdiocese of New Orleans. The text was well over a hundred pages long and I spent 10AM to 11AM meticulously putting together all three copies from about twenty individual documents. My heart raced so badly I was afraid someone might hear. After we delivered the grant we drove back over the industrial canal, left Orleans and entered St. Bernard. C indicated a scar on her right hand that she got in Haiti.
"I hope it doesn't fade," she said. "I'm proud of my scars."
"I have one on the back of my head," I said.
"How'd you get that?" she asked.
"My sister tried to kill me."
"It's a joke. We were camping and she threw a rock and it hit my head. I nearly died that trip. Not from the rock, but from drowning." I said, "I've nearly drowned a lot and that's probably why I don't like to swim."