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The Flames That Bind

One day I sat and pondered. What should I do to myself next?

The question plagued me for a matter of seconds. I decided I was going to do a flame branding around my left leg. I had wanted flames around my leg for quite some while now so I decided to take the plunge and brand away.

As I usually do, I cleaned up my leg, shaved it, prepared my tools and put on some music. The selection for the day was some Godspeed You Black Emperor. Everything was set. I sat down and did some deep breathing as the soldering iron heated. It was then I layed down the desired design. I was totally ready. I got my mind and body prepped by my usual ways, deep breathing and thought.

Once the iron heated, I started. Most people think the brandings would hurt but I find them pleasurable. The pain is breif and sharp but subsides quick. I sat and worked as the orchestra raged on and after an hour of making sure all the lines were seared and such, I was done. I loved the look and feel, the smell of burnt flesh though I could have done without.

During the first night I had an annoying problem. My leg kept sticking to anything and everything it touched. It was a constant tug of war with the couch that I happened to be residing on that glorious eventful evening. I made it through the evening without barely any sleep. I ended up throwing on some clothes and heading out to a coffee shop until the pharmacy opened so I could buy dressings. The only ones I had at home were cloth guaze. I realized this after the procedure to my dismay. So the pharmacy opened at around 8am and I picked up what I needed. The day was long but well worth it.

It started to heal and all was great. The look was perfect and distinct and I was 100% satisfied. As the healing progressed though problems arose. You never realized how much your leg actually flexes until you have burnt the flesh. Then you realize how crucial each movement is. Everytime I stood I had to relax and stay in that position for a few minutes to allow the flesh to stretch so I could walk. This was the most painful part of the who experince by far. It lasted a few days and the worst was when the dog jumped up and landed smack down directly on my branding. Damn I thought I was going to lose my whole leg. My luck was bad through out the week. Accidents like that happening on and off. A friend at El Rancho (The dubbed name of the place I live) had thrown a phone book or something along those lines, across the room. I missed catching it and you guessed it. Bam! Right on the branding.

The days passed and the pain began to loosen up.

The itching set in and as many of you know the itch of mending skin can become intense. You scratch and scrath yet the itch does not fade. Its so deep you feel the need to scrape it al away and scrath the bone. The itching faded or I managed to push it out of my head.

Then came the picking. I took off the entire scab to encourage scarring and to aid in that I added some irritants to further the process.

Now its a month later and it has a nice color and I am happy with it. There are small gaps in places but I am going to get those on the next touch up. After that all will be good.

Already I have noticed the reactions people give. I have had many interesting conversations with people from all different walks of life involving the branding. They constantly ask questions on why I did it and what it means to me and the ever popular questions of "did it hurt?" and "Are you CRAZY???" I have no problems explaining or educating on my mods, I am not anal in that aspect what so ever so not only does it help me get through things but it also allows me to talk to people I usually would never talk to. My doctor even said it was a good idea. Imagine that! A doctor approving! He told me if I had found a decent way of expressing myself and coping then to continue. I was shocked to say the least. So if I had to rate my branding experience I would give it a 10. Other thn the pain (which was worth it!) nothing went wrong. Even my mom and girl friend liked it! So I lost nothing over this!

Always be careful though when doing things yourself, take precautions and clean well!


submitted by: Anonymous
on: 06 May 2002
in Scarification

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Artist: myself
Studio: home
Location: Thunder+Bay

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