Sunday, July 29, 2007

A Black Stain Underneath It

I hurt myself. A lot. Not on purpose, mind you. I know a lot of people who do that as well, the cutting, the burning, the works. This happens all the time and what used to be student memoirs about eating disorders and alcohol abuse have turned into even sadder tales of self-injury and heroin over the years. All about avoiding the big pain, the one that eats at us all the time. The fear of having our lives slip away into the ether without love or fame or money or whatever we crave. I'm always coming up against it, having it try to break me. My mother told me it was genetic, this clumsiness, that I would grow out of it. Just as I am still waiting to shed my baby fat, I'm starting to think it's not going to happen. I slam windows on my fingers, fall a lot. One of my nails on my left hand has a black stain underneath it, dried blood, that looks, if you squint, like a miniature version of the Statue of Liberty. My dad used to laugh when I'd spill things all over my clothes and say, First time out with the new mouth? I'd laugh as well, and he expanded his joke to include feet and hands.

I know a few people like me, people who wear bruises like jewelry. They change colors like mood rings before they leave us, unaffected as before. But I once had a friend who fell off a bus, the top step of one. She bruised her thigh so bad that it stayed discolored for years. I think of her often, my oldest friend in the world, a girl a lot like me except that she married an abusive asshole (note use of clinical term), had children with him, and damn near lost her mind as a result. She was one of the loveliest children I knew, beautiful and free, afraid of nothing. I feared almost everything, cautious to the point of lunacy. But I got out of my situation and she perpetuated hers for years. I'd see her around my hometown when I returned, bruised and battered, so thin as to appear ill. I'd hug her frail injured body, once so lovely and try and wish her healthy. But what could I do with my own bruises so apparent and all my fault? Nothing except tell her I had missed her and mean it in more ways than the obvious one.

Michelle's Spell of the Day
"If you haven't cried, your eyes can't be beautiful." Sophia Loren

Cocktail Hour
Drinking short story collection suggestion: Nobody Belongs Here More Than You Miranda July

Benedictions and Maledictions
Happy Sunday!


Carlo Dangerfield Ponti said...

Nobody looked better in a wet blouse than Sophia Loren, if you know what I mean.

jm coetzee said...

You're such a disgrace, Ugis.

Why don't you go sexually harass some undergrads--or actually learn to do what you profess.

paul said...


Tim said...

Hey Michelle,
I've always been somewhat of a klutz myself, dicovering a bruise every so often that I have no memory getting.
The bruises I sometimes see in your pictures make you seem more human, but no less goddesslike in appearance. :)

the walking man said...

"I'd hug her frail injured body, once so lovely and try and wish her healthy. But what could I do with my own bruises so apparent and all my fault? Nothing except tell her I had missed her and mean it in more ways than the obvious one."

There is much you could do, even with your own self inflicted bruises. The first but maybe not the best is shoot her old man, until he had a hole and a bruise of his own, the second is get a man to unemotionally beat his ass because a man who beats women and children does it to them weaker than he is because of his own fear.

Lastly and the best solution of all
is go to battle with the Demon that has been torturing this soul for so long and consign it to the pit, just because a person makes an incorrect choice in life does not mean they have to live hell on earth for twenty, thirty, fifty years. There is always a solution to hell, no matter the type.

John Ricci said...

Dear Michelle
Lovely view and post as always and devastatingly beautiful is how you look. I do hope you are avoiding new bruises and a Moet for your vigour and humour. I recall The Time Tunnel as a strapping young lad but is it that or One Step Beyond or The Outer Limits? All of them exquisite reminders of your loveliness beyond compare. To you and your astonishing talents as always Bravo!

Pythia3 said...

Michelle, I was told once, by celebrity nonetheless, at a semi-celebrity party, of course, and as my stiletto-ed foot sunk down into the lower level of the living room while my other foot stayed a level higher in the dining room and I tried like hell to NOT spill the Merlot that was high-tiding in my hand (onto the white carpet). . . "Dancers cannot walk! Every dancer I've known trips when simply walking." I suppose the same holds true for gymnasts! LOL
I love the line your dad said, "First time out with the new mouth?" I am going to use that line on my daughter, especially! When my daughter was young, she would ask questions like; "Mom, does mustard come out . . . does ketchup come out . . . ?" and I'd laugh knowing that another shirt bit the dust!
Anyway . . . aren't we all suppose to strive to be like little children? Or doesn't that include clumsiness?
I hope you are healing well. :)

eric313 said...

How many levels am I a klutz on?

eric313 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
eric313 said...

oops, kultzness manifested and the comment posted twice!

Charles Gramlich said...

Good piece. I love the title.