Tuesday, November 26, 2013

SOMETIMES, A SCAR IS JUST A SCAR

Getting to know someone inevitably includes the how'd-you-get-that conversation, the exchange of information detailing the various nicks and inks from life's sharp edges. This one near my left wrist? A license plate gone rogue. That one high on my left temple? You should have seen the other guy; I messed up his boots so bad I bet he never got the blood out.

We swap information about where we've been with people we're getting to know, trying to see if any of the edges fit together to connect us and make the days a little more fulfilling and a little less lonely. We do the same with emotional keepsakes — the ones we want to share, anyway. Unlike scars on the skin, we can (and usually do) keep the ugliest emotional souvenirs hidden, except in the event of a national emergency or an epic bout of drunkenness.

The inner scars we decide to show describe us, define us. As we do it we look for someone with a mutual weirdness, and we want their marks to have meaning. We want some of them to have grooves that click and fit with ours and help solve part of the puzzle.

In our haste to get it done we can overlook things that don't fit the neat and hopeful narrative. We try to make the pieces fit. We sand away some rough edges. We reinvent ourselves to better suit the other person, or invest deeper meaning in the marks. Something, anything, to find a fellow badass, to know what it feels to be right

But sometimes a scar is just a scar. No interesting story behind the apparent mayhem. No shared weirdness. Sometimes it's nothing but a patch of twisted skin with no feeling beneath the surface.

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