He tells me that I’m beautiful. I laugh. It’s a line, and I won’t take the bait. He laughs too. He says, I mean it! You are so beautiful. Maybe so but that doesn’t mean anything these days. Compliments are cheap. Any guy can throw one out. And they do, all the time. I am surrounded by hooks. But what I want to know is what they do when I bite. I don’t bite often, but when I do, I bite hard. Any guy can buy the bait, but they don’t know how to reel me in. And next time I bite, I want to make sure that I choose someone with a strong rod.
That sounded dirty but that seems to be my permanent state of mind these days. I watch the boys play baseball. I love the way their arms flex as balls soar through the sky. I don’t care about their faces, just the way they grip their bats and slide across the dirt. I love the little leg lift-up; it reminds me of a dance. I want someone to hit me out of the ball park.
He turns his head to see if I’m watching. I am. Unapologetically so. Later I see his face is old and hard and not so pretty. I don’t care. He has those arms and that arrogance. He’ll do.
I want to have affairs, crazy love affairs. I don’t want flimsy flings or ugly one-night stands. I want innuendo and indulgence and respect and flesh. I have spent so much of my life being single and celibate and perhaps it’s a shame. I am wasting my body. I am young and free and I want fantasies.
He stands up a little straighter when I’m around but he doesn’t pay me much attention. I always said we had bad timing but maybe he just never liked me all that much. He looks at me sometimes; he holds my eyes with his but it doesn’t mean anything anymore. Eye-locks and compliments are nothing, not even promises.
We sat in the sunshine and drank beer. I covered up my scars with bandaids. When I looked in the mirror, I tried to imagine what my body looked like without scars. It might sound silly but I just realised that I will never be unscarred again. That sounds simple but it’s strange to think that I am changed forever. I don’t think I have ever enjoyed my body for a decent amount of time. Sometimes I think I’ve been cheated of my youth. All those years of striving to achieve perfection, and for what? I am twenty-six, forever scarred; all that perfect skin wasted. But then I realise that there’s no point because that was then, and this is now, and I will never, ever be unscarred.
I know that we think scars and imperfections are beautiful, but it’s hard to feel that way every day. There is no freedom in this; I have no option except to be scarred.
The word scarred is the word scared with a little extra rrrr.