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For a long time I had wanted to get a tattoo or piercing of some sort, but I wanted something that no one in my town had. The bicep tattoos were all getting old, and everyone and their grandma had an ear piercing. I considered the nose, the eyebrow, nipples, and the lips, but none of them seemed exciting. My next choice was a wrist to ear tattoo of some design, with it wrapping around my neck, but my mother threatened to throw me out if i got a tattoo, plus I was only 17, so it would have been rather tough in my neck of the woods to get one Then it came to me after watching a special on the discovery channel about African tribes-- scarification! Now it was on, I just had to figure something out to burn or cut into me. I knew it had to be something simple, or I would fuck it up and have it look terrible. But I also didn't want anything too simplistic. The other obstacle was that I don't scar very well. They tend to go away rather early, and I wanted something that would last my entire life. I would spend all day in school drawing up designs, and even bending metal into shapes and designs and words and patterns-- whatever I could think of. I also had to decide where I would want it. I knew I would probably be doing it myself, so that limited the possibilities to my chest, arms, neck, legs, feet, or face. I didn't really feel comfortable cutting up or burning my face or neck, and the legs and feet were just too discreet for my liking. So I had it down to either my chest or my arms, and decided on the upper arm, my left one so I could cut or burn with my right hand I talked with some friends at school and decided on a flourished 'X' just because it seemed tough and rebellious, I guess. I then had to decide if I wanted it burned or cut. Now, I don't consider myself a pussy, but I didn't know if I would go through with carving anything into my own flesh, but I figured I would be able to burn something in. I would just have to heat it up, and press it on. My friend also suggested chemicals, but I didn't know how my body would scar up from a chemical burn, as I have never actually had one. We got the idea from Fight Club, actually. I found some rather thin aluminun and, after several templates, came up with a design I liked. I rigged up a handle for it, then heated it up. The aluminum must have been to thin, however, because it started to curl up on the edges before I could press it onto my arm. Days later I found thicker aluminum that I then manipulated into the X of my liking. It took a while, but I was happy with the design. So I used a torch from the garage to heat it up. It maintained its form, and appeared real hot. It took much nerves, but I finally forced my self to bring it up to my arm. I must have been shaking, because the bottom of the template hit my arm first, and I jerked away, dropping the red-hot X onto my foot. I kicked it away before doing too much damage to my shoe. My arm hurt like a bitch, and I almost considered dropping the idea all together. But I knew I would be glad I did it if I just went through with it. So I grabbed the torch again, and heated it up again. I was much more steady this time. I calmed myself some by doing some meditating stuff I made up as I went. This time I firmly held the template and brought it to my arm. I breathed in deeply, then pressed the bitch down, hard. It took a second for the pain to kick in this time, but it wasn't as bad as I thot it was going to be. I'm not sure how long I held it there, but it was a while. It pulled off all right, which is good, because I was worried that my skin would melt right to it or something. I left it uncovered for a while, then gauzed it up. Everyone at school wanted to see, but I wanted to wait till it was healed up more. It looked pretty gross. It was like the X was cut out of my skin, and filled with puss. Which I guess is what it was. I had the bandage on for over a week, then I decided, to hell with it. It healed fine, I guess, but I really don't know what a burn like that is supposed to heal like, so I have nothing to compare it to. Now I have a puffed up X on my left upper arm, and it looks pretty tough. It isn't as defined as I had hoped it would be, but I'm pretty sure it'll be there for life, so that's good. In the future I plan to have someone burn a large Chinese symbol for 'strength' onto my right shoulder blade.


submitted by: Anonymous
on: 24 March 2001
in Scarification

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Artist: myself
Studio: my+bedroom
Location: central+wisconsin

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