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The opening of the flesh

In the summer of 2000, I had about 3 different jobs all over town and all in hot warehouses and I spent too much time left to my own devices at work. I had slowed down modifying my body for a moment do to the fact I was working with my hands in un-air conditioned warehouses and staying dirty all the time. One of the jobs I had was working in a chrome plating shop (it has since closed). In the process of chroming metal you work with multiple highly corrosive material and a good portion of those are heated to the tune of about 200F, so that particular room in midday Texas will swell to nearly 140F. Basically you spend 6 or 7 hours in an extremely hot sweat lodge. During those hours of slow monotonies work I had a vision of a line running the length of my thigh starting on the outside and going to the inside above my knee.

After debating how bad of an idea a fresh wound would be in this environment I sat down in my room with by foot stool as a mayo-stand and a fresh scalpel and all the works and proceeded to carefully drag the scalpel up my right thigh. I cut shallow and with my heritage and past experiences with scaring I knew it would never last. But I a sedated the beast with in me long enough to go to work the next day and the day after that. But I soon realized I needed more of what I had envisioned. I was having dreams and visions of a deep, wide, "hard" line. I was seeing it every time I climbed in the shower and when I woke up I could feel it raised and warm.

One Thursday I slipped out of work early and raced to the shop I was going to need help. I got there in the early evening planning on hanging out for a little bit before I was to be cut. It was warm but we had a steady slow breeze that made the grease and rotting food float across the street and into every nostril in the area. Pat Tidwell was the one I was asking to do the cutting on the other leg because I tend to be a symmetrical fellow and the other leg still had scabbing from the day in my room. During the course of the conversation with Pat he mentioned that this cutting would take about an hour. I had already decided that this was unacceptable. I wanted a single slice, one go, no bullshit.

The shop would be closing soon so we stepped in to the backroom and I dropped my trousers and took my seat on the piercing table. Pat laid out the scalpel and all the gauze and other supplies. I laid back and started deep breathing and trying to relax I was hyper and wound-up. I had Pat get out the rubbing alcohol to flash cauterize it. Pat drew the line across my leg and I was ready. As Pat seat the scalpel against the top of my thigh I inhaled nice and slow and I gave him the go ahead. The blade started its journey to my knee I heard Pat take a breath as I looked down I could see the fat tissue yellow and lumpy I couldn't really feel it but I saw pat back the razor out a fraction of an inch I watched as my flesh opened and showed me all its tiny secrets. No blood had spilled when the incision was finished and Pat stood up. It was amazing the skin open and loose.

Soon the blood released and began to flow down my leg warm and wet. We poured a small amount of alcohol over the wound and all I could feel was the cold liquid around the warm blood. I grabbed my lighter and ignited the fluid. The flame flashed up. I am not a particarly hairy person but I do have some body hair. As the flame went up so did all the air on my leg and rump. I jumped off the table and slapped the fire out. A normal reaction to being on fire, but with the chemical fire and a quickly growing puddle of blood, not only did I get the fire out I also covered the wall and a portion of the floor and my hands in blood. I immediately began apologizing and sat back down to have the pictures taken and bandage my leg. We laid a good layer of gauze across the wound and taped it in place then covered that in a thick layer of paper towels then covered that in a layer of saran wrap. All was good I had my scar.

We cleaned the room, or more true to fact, I got in Pats way as he cleaned the walls the floor and everything else. I stepped outside the shop with some acquaintances to smoke and chat. After a couple of cigarettes Jeremy(?) pointed to the ground where I was standing. I stepped back and could see a puddle of blood about the size of a dinner plate on the ground. I yelled through the shop for assistance to travel the floor with my leg in tow. As we got me to the room we removed the wrap and blood soaked bandaging to apply more paper skipping the gauze and tighter wrapping.

Realizing I would be bleeding some more I promptly left the shop and headed home. I figured driving would be more of a problem than it turned out. I drove the distance home and climbed the stairs to the apartment easily enough. I stepped in to the bathroom to inspect the cutting. A few nice things about saran wrap are not only does it not soak through it also allows you to see through it. All my bandages were overflowing. I decided to settle in for the night so I grabbed an old towel and folded it in to thirds and wrapped the whole thing around my leg and re-saran wrapped my present.

I stepped out of the bathroom and the room spun around and my ears hummed liked I had just done a whip-it. Having performed with TSD and broken bones (badly) I knew the sign as my stomach twisted I was in shock. With experience and some practice you learn tricks and identifying markers of the level of stress. I think I checked my pulse but I knew it was slow and weak. I knew I did not need to sit around an empty apartment and I sure was not going anywhere. I proceeded to call everyone I could think of. I hoped Brion would arrive home before long. Call after call I got machine after machine and I was starting to get nervous. I decided food may help so I fixed a quick bowl of soup. A moment later Pat called me back and like clockwork Brion arrived home. Having an idea that I was planning this he had a clue what was going on. Brion in classic form just asked how it went. After talking for a moment and the food settling down in my stomach I got the shock under control. I slippe d off to bed it had been a long day at this point.

I woke up at around 8am the next morning. To back step a second in the time me and Brion and lived together he was rarely up before me and we almost never knock on each others door in the morning. Yet, at 8am Brion knocks on my door and asked if I was alive. I called work and claimed some lie as truth. Brion looked at me after I had changed my bandages he was still getting ready for work. I realized the question he had asked a moment earlier was not in the standard are you awake question he meant it literally. It was a real experience



submitted by: Anonymous
on: 17 May 2002
in Scarification

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Artist: Pat+Tidwell
Studio: +
Location: Texas

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