Saturday, January 4, 2003

I think my burns from work (two smallish red marks, both on my left arm) are actually going to form that silvery skin of a scar. I may actually show them to a lover in the future and say "When I was 18 I burnt myself; this one's from a deep fryer and that one's from an oven used for baking pies." Or maybe a child will see them, the way I saw the scar on my mother's knee, and heard the story of the open tin can at the bottom of the stairs, but didn't really know the story, couldn't really place the pain, being only 6 or however old I was.

It's funny how we collect the body we live in; the scars of things, burns, warts, falls through rotten porches; stretch marks from weight gain or loss, pregnancy, puberty. Also the pieces of it that are so familiar to us, our faces, our curves, our hair, our skin, that every so often change in what seems like violent swiftness, and then we get used to them again. Before I burnt myself I had no marks on that arm, and now they will be there for the rest of my life. There is this oddly proud feeling I have of them, of the physical memory of my body. The record I leave on myself of this life I'm living.

Then there are the stories that don't get told somehow in skin and cells, the close calls, the sexual escapades, the adventures. Things I'll tell people in the future as well, but with no physical prompts. Under different circumstances. (Probably involving wine.)

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