Flaws on my Sleeve (Or, Whose Choice Is This?)

I do not have the courage to do this, this, a feat that blindsided me when I realized during a sleepless slumber that something needs to step, step, step towards solitude and calcification – I’ve been diluted, and dragged, and drilled, and goddamn I don’t know how to feel. I don’t know how to feel. I don’t. Know. How to feel.

All I can feel is… I am an absolute. Absolute. Absolute. Decimal points do not exist in my sphere. All or nothing, obsessions, dedications. Godly devotions to abstinent objects of love. To love, it’s a risk I cannot take.

How can I love when I can’t even love myself? When I wear my flaws on my sleeve and expect you to love me?

I live in a land far away. My mind travels to the borders of insanity when I imagine the possibilities stretched out before me and laid out like a present. Dotted lines guiding my blade along the crucifix of my radius bone, that is the path I chose.

The permanence of my choices are immortalized in my flaws, boils shining through my complexion. I wear makeup like a ballroom mask, I paint over the black boils on my face with the same artistry I use to illustrate sunshine in the corners of the pages of my blighted childhood.

I am an absolute. Absolute. Absolute. It’s the name of my heartbeat, the infant’s cry that bubbles up and breaks through the atmosphere every time I am faced with another choice, another flaw, another fork in the path that I stab myself in the back with. I laugh too hard, I cry too much, I’m fantastic, ballistic, artistic, sadistic, stones and sticks, no, sticks and stones, alone, alone, alone.

I do not have the courage for this, for this. How can I love when I can’t even love myself? How can I wear my flaws on my sleeve and expect you to love me?

I am too aware. Of the absolutes, absolutes, absolutes of my character. I bare them all like I am proud of them. I put them on display like a rigged deck of cards, asking the public to take their pick, I’ll do a magic trick! I’ll disappear in a pink poof and a shamanistic twirl of my skirt. They point out that the red heart on the razor sharp card is dripping something warm, something stingy. I show off my flaws because I am too aware of them, so let the crowd know what they came for! Come one, come all, Herr God, Herr Lucifer.

I make incisions in my flesh where my flaws stick out like thorns… because who would want to embrace something as prickly as me? Who could develop fondness for something as smoky as me? Who would trust someone with a tongue made of solid silver, someone who looks in the mirror and sees nothing but a piranha with a smile too big for her face?

You can’t touch a water spirit, you can’t catch an echo. When I open my eyes so wide it is because I want you to see yourself in them. I want you to be the narcissist so I can reflect you, become a puppet of you. Narcissists are lucky because they do not see beyond themselves.

Related image
Echo and Narcissus (1903), a Pre-Raphaelite interpretation by John William Waterhouse

But when I, when I look at your face, my dear, I see the galaxy. I see a mess of perfection, a tidy complexion, dare I say a smidge of affection. Honey, you are my mission. I want to make you understand that you, my darling, wear my heart on your chest. It lies in crimson pieces and it’s staining your white shirt, but like always you tell me it’s an old shirt anyways.

How can I love you knowing that you will eventually become tired of the prickle of my thorns because you ran out of band aids long ago? How can I love you knowing that eventually my tears will become an inconvenience that you can’t joke away anymore? How can I love you knowing that eventually I will become the white noise buzzing at your ear that you will swat away like a fly until I become the recluse, beginning the cycle anew?

How can I love you, baby, when I can’t even love myself? How can I wear my flaws on my sleeve and expect you to love me?

I see you. On the horizon. Wearing a stained white shirt and tidy complexion. You tell me I look better without makeup, without the paint, without the masks, without the piranha smile. My flaws burst into sunshine I don’t have to draw on a paper to be real anymore. I become a supernova caught in the eye of the beholder, colorful, bleeding, a narcissist ready for the taking because my God, they wouldn’t even be able to look at themselves and see you, but I do. Darling, you make me an absolute.

Absolute. Absolute. Absolute.

I do not have the courage for this. This. A choice. How can I love when I know… I am so hard to love myself? How can I wear my flaws on my sleeve and expect you to love me?

I know how.

I do it like this.

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