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My Best Brand

 At the time that I did my first major brand I didn't know that other people were also embarking upon this course of body mod, I was the only person I knew who burnt themselves with anything deliberately, let alone with the forethought needed to create a specific design, as I was about to do.

My weapon of choice was ciggarettes, namely roll-ups, which have a distinct disadvantage when compared with tailor-mades if you are going to use them for this purpose, this is because the temperature of the cherry is distinctly lower than that of a tailor-made, which means a much longer slower burn. The flipside to this is that you can keep the depth of the burn more even and delicate than with tailors as it takes longer.It's also a more intense feeling, well, it is for me.

The anticipation of what I was going to do started two days before, when I had my last can of cider until afterwards. I wanted to do this with a completely clear head, mainly so that I could experience it to the full but also so that others wouldn't be able to say "oh, it was because you were drunk" or other such asinine comments.

At work on the day I had been looking forward too, I felt happier and more relaxed than I had in ages, able to talk to anyone about anything, and have a laugh at the same time. The me that I feel I am, but can't seem to find most of the time.

On the way home I bought the last of what I would need, namely vodka, to use as an antiseptic both before and after with the added bonus of being an appropriate celebratory short to go with the can of fizz to make sure my sugar levels didn't drop too far. I also had some proper antiseptic wash for afterwards as I would hate for this to become infected and all my effort go to waste.

Once I got to the room I was renting at the time I put on a tape that I had been compiling for the last two days and began the final preperations, such as they were. Basically I just rolled loads of fags so that hopefully I wouldn't run out during the experience and made sure no-one would interrupt me once I had started.

In the silence that followed the end of the tape I lit the first of many rollies, intent on the design I had already drawn on the back of my left hand with a biro. Slightly scared because I had never attempted such a large project that would take so much time, (previously I had only done single site burns, some of these form patterns but none are continuous, as this one is) but shaking because of the exitement that had been building for so long.

To start with I was suprised at the overall lack of pain, I could feel everything from the gentle pressure on the inside of the forefingers on my right hand telling me I had a roll-up there, to being able to feel the heat from that roll-up over the back of my left hand when it was still too far away to normally feel, hypersensitization, aaahh. As for when that first cherry touched the skin my senses seemed to go into overload so that I could feel the whoosh of my breath as I blew on the cherry to raise the intensity of both my feelings and the heat as it burned deeper into me.

This is where I have trouble explaining my feelings to most people as they cannot understand how cathartic such pain can be, and how conventionally painless I find the whole process to be, to the extent that I completely lose track of time. During the whole time I am branding/burning I keep having to stop to either re-light my existing tool, get another from my tin or just chill for five minutes and roll one, even though I don't have to. None of this comes as an interruption, just a part of the whole process, which gets easier the more I do.

As with all the things I enjoy doing this seemed to be over almost before it had begun, although the clock tells the real story at just over two hours. Time to sit back and admire my handiwork.

Also time to count the butts in the ashtray, no wonder my throats' a bit raw, that took twelve, almost enough to want make me give up smoking, almost. The first liquid to hit the site is ice cold vodka out of the freezer shortly followed by dettol, one soothing, the other a satisfying sting, it feels like it's being clean now. Time for my fizzy drink with the worlds best mixer. Then I just laid back and let myself drift after looking at my brand one more time, now it was all there, a feeling of content with a job well done.

I had certainly never felt like this before, not even during the best meditation sessions had I ever felt so at peace. A nice warm ache round my left hand the only discomfort, just totally aware of my own body like never before. I felt like someone kept treading on my grave, but in a nice way. Eventually I must have dropped off to sleep, because the next thing I knew it was daylight.

In the cold light of day I was just as pleased with what I could see, the burn seemed to be blistering quite uniformly which I took as a good sign that it would heal the same way.

At work it was a different story from the day before, although I was as ebullient as the day before I made no secret of what I had done, why should I, I liked it, it made me happy (I was still buzzing). Unfortunately no one seemed to appreciate it like I did, even those that I thought might. I have since found that if I wait until the wounds are healed on the outside then those who might understand seem to be more inclined to appreciate it can because as a scar it isnt threatening, unlike when its just been done and its all red and angry, and honest.

Overall it took the best part of five months to heal, it could have been quicker, but then it wouldn't have scarred as well as it did, though two years on it has faded more than I would like.

At the time I did it I didn't really care what anyone else thought of me beause of it, I felt that if I had to explain, how could you/they understand? It's not something that needed explaining then, and I'm not sure that I have now.

I am proud of my brand on many levels, have two:- the aesthetic, well I think its beautiful, and the most appropriate, as it is burnt into my flesh. F T W. (F**k The World! How I felt the day I did it, and still do)

Since then although I have added many other mods, amongst others a tattoo on the back of my head and numerous other piercings, brands and scars which I feel tell a tale of how I got here, none have been such a raw experience as this was.

Whether I would go about it in a different way knowing what I now know about basic hygiene remains to be seen, I just do the best I can with what I've got. F T W


submitted by: Anonymous
on: 05 April 2002
in Scarification

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Artist: me
Studio: my+lair
Location: Milton+%28souless%29+Keynes

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