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X Marks The Spot

She left me.

After 2 years and 9 months, she left me.

Sure, we'd had our down times. We'd had our fights, we'd said things to each other we'd both regretted, but we'd had some great times, too. During spring break of my final collegiate year, we went on a road trip from here to the middle of Kansas, just driving and seeing everything first-hand. Museums, zoos, restaurants, the birthplace of Mark Twain, etc. We had some great hotel-room sex, too. For almost 3 years, we shared each other, our dreams, goals, our lives. But of all the things I regret saying to her, I regret "I love you" the most. And of all the things I wish she'd never said, "I love you too" is number 1.

So she came over one day in October, with her mind made up to break my heart.

After a week or two of trying to get her back, asking her why, and asking God why, one night I made up my mind to do what I knew I had to do. I had to burn her out of me. The only way to expunge her from my heart was with fire. Ah, but with what could I do the deed with? I don't have a soldering iron, a lighter wouldn't do the trick, I'd have to suspend myself above the flame somehow to do what I had in mind, and I didn't have any bar-shaped piece of metal lying around......oh wait, yes I do. The Swiss Army Knife my dad gave me for a birthday present when I was still in the Scouts. Funny that, the parallels in my dad's life and mine. He has his scars, but not from burning. Those are operation scars when he was shot by a friend of his in his youth. His heart was broken by a woman too, but he married her before she told him she never loved him. Lucky guy, right? Yeah, the both of us.

I grabbed a lighter, took a shot of courage, and flipped out the short blade.

The flame turned the blade odd colors, black, brown, purple, a tinge of green.

I looked at myself in the mirror, shirtless, holding the knife.

I slowly pressed the blade against my left pectoral, diagonally right to left. At first, I couldn't hold it there, but as I grew accustomed to the pain and my resolve grew stronger, I was able to firmly press down and scorch myself. My flesh popped and sizzled, but as the heat dissipated and I drew the blade away, I began to feel a little better. I looked in the mirror, then down at my chest, and laughed a little, confident that I was doing the right thing. I washed and wiped the blade off, and continued to burn two more in the same direction, then three down the opposite way, until I had burnt an X in my chest, about two inches high and across. That night was the first peaceful sleep I had in weeks.

It's about three or four months later, and the scabs have come off. That was worse than the burning, really. The flesh around your pec moves and shifts constantly, so having those scabs clutching and pinching you all day is not pleasant. Also, those things pulled my chest hair out when they came off! Ouch! I've nursed it with hydrogen peroxide and a little bit of lotion. It's now turned from sunken-in to poking-out, and the flesh is pink and tender. Aside from looking cool, ('cause hey, it's a freakin' X burned into my chest! How hardcore is that!?), the way my shirt rubs against it provides just enough irritation to it to make me a little horny, so that's a nice way to go through the day, too.

I don't regret at all doing this, and doing it myself. Although it doesn't look professional, it's kinda my 'red badge of courage'. It proves to myself and whoever else that sees it that I can get through anything, even having my entire world turned upside down. It's a symbol of strength, inner and outer. It also serves as a ward against the wrong type of woman. This scar carries a story of love and loss with it, and scares away anyone who isn't strong enough to handle either. I believe that things happen for a reason. Looking back, I see that she only made me weaker, that I had to dig down inside myself for the strength I'll need for God knows what's next, and that whatever woman I end up with later on in life will be truly be worthy of my love.

And I owe it all to my scar.

And God, of course.

But that's kind of assumed.


submitted by: Anonymous
on: 25 Jan. 2006
in Scarification

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Artist: Myself
Studio: Bathroom
Location: Murfreesboro%2C+Tennessee

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