Trigger warning: mentions of wounds and grazes
There is a burning sensation rising from my ribs, a sting keen enough to draw soft hisses each time my curious fingers graze the inflamed skin.
In the shower, I realised I didn’t just get hurt: I actually managed to scratch myself to the point of leaving marks. It’s usually what happens when I let my nails grow out: dotted red lines, like constellations, start meandering across my body.
“Much of your pain is self-chosen.” wrote Kahlil Gibran.
My fingers press a little harder on the swollen skin, stopping at the rigidness of the rib bone. The pain is sharper, but still burning somewhere along the pleasure-pain scale. It is the kind of minor pain that lights your consciousness, that offers a heightened sensitivity to life and to the experience of it.
You know, I chose to like him.
I chose the 5-hour long conversations, the crazed 2 a.m. ramblings, and the delicious warmth of not-quite-friends. I chose my pain when I chose my joy: that is how these things work. But it’s not quite pain, not a devastation; I haven’t cried for him though I’ve sighed into many golden afternoons and blue nights. It is not pain but rather something more faded, subdued.
Newspaper clippings of past moments. Out of focus memories. The smudged ink of this dying story.
It stings but not quite enough to truly hurt, the pinprick of it a proof that I have lived.
Much of your pain is self-chosen. Yes, very much so.
So long, O.
As always, I hope you’re doing beautifully! I found this interesting little article about the pleasure-pain idea: https://www.bbc.com/future/article/20151001-why-pain-feels-good