Thursday, July 25, 2013

The Blueprint

"Scars are tattoos with better stories."


I hear music in my dreams.  There's a symphony narrating the plot of someone flying or saying what they really mean or winning the lottery.  My eyes flutter open and I realize it's just my cell phone alarm, and I get up and begin my morning prep.  I turn on the shower. The steam feels the room, I undress, flinging what I slept in into various corners of the bathroom floor.  I look into the mirror to tie my hair up before stepping into the tub.  But I pause after my eye catches a glimpse of the black dot on my torso.  This is not a new dot, but I still inspect it as if its appearance is some kind of mystery to me.  

I run my hands over the black, brownish circle, sliding my fingers three inches up higher on my torso to a short and thick brown line, massaging the subtle bump underneath.  I step into the shower feel mixture of warm water and soap glide over my new kidney. Using my fingers, I walk along the five-inch incision, as if it were as if it were a balance beam.  I pause along the jagged path to poke at various rises and falls, numb spots, smooth and thin patches of scar tissue on the incision.  I chuckle at the "baby bump" that this new kidney has created, only this "baby" leans heavily toward the right side of my abdomen.  It doesn't kick but every once in a while I'm hit with a bout of shooting pains on the right side of my gut, which cause me to rub the new kidney as if I'm convincing it to calm down. 

Once clothed, for the rest of the day these various scars get hardly of the attention they received in the morning.  But at work, while working on a report, I stop to think about what I want to write next and reach my left hand up to the right side of my neck and feel around for two little bumps.  Once found, I rest my fingers on the tiny bulges until the next round of phrases comes to mind.  And I start typing again.  

Day becomes night, and it is once again way too late, and I know I will be exhausted in the morning. I begin to fly through my bedtime routine--brushing teeth, washing my face, putting on pajamas.  During each phase, I pause to admire my collection of body art, and I think about how this skin, once covered in a flawless blanket of chocolate pigment, has little chips in the surface, un-perfect crocked lines, uneven groupings of dots and bumps and bulges, and healing cuts.  Like icons on a map, I glide over each one with my hands, to remember how I got here.