Tuesday, June 24, 2014


Sometimes people ask me if my tattoo hurt. I tell them no---it kind of felt good in a weird way. Usually after I say this I get those weird scared and awkward faces back in return. They probably think I'm some kind of cutter who feels a great sense of release after hurting themselves. I'm not---I just know what pain is.

In third grade I was home alone and enjoying a steaming hot Cup o' Noodles. I placed the cup between my legs and then reached down to grab the napkin that had fallen onto the floor. The boiling water spilled across my right thigh. It was summer so I was wearing shorts. Boiling water on bare skin. I screamed and fell on the floor crying in pain. So much pain. No one was home. I jumped into the shower with all my clothes on and turned the water on as cold as it would get. I called my sister who was babysitting down the street and she ran up the street holding the baby in her arms. She brought me back to the house and we put aloe on it. It throbbed all night.

The next morning I took off my pajama pants and my skin came off with it. The burn was now a yellow puss filled wound. My oldest sister took me to the doctor where they cleaned it and wrapped it in gauze. A second and a half degree burn.

In seventh grade I was told that my Scoliosis was not getting any better and that I had to wear a brace 24 hours a day. For those of you keeping track that's all the hours of the day. I slept in it. Went to school in it. Sometimes during class I could feel this awful aching right underneath my ribs where the velcro straps were pulled the tightest. It felt like someone pushed their first against my side and never let go.

Once early in the morning I heard my Dad crying to my Mother. I started listening at the exact moment he said, "And Andre doesn't even want to hug me….." I've never told anyone that I heard him say this. He thought I didn't like hugging him because I didn't like him--didn't love him. The truth was, I didn't really like hugging anyone.

When he died, I held his hand until the life left him. I kissed his head--surprised at how quickly it had become so cold and whispered----I love you--- so much.

Sometimes people ask me if my tattoo hurt. I smile and tell just tell them, 'no... not really'.


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