After the commotion settled down, I got a chance to read what else the Lisping Barista had written before I was interrupted by the Waving Man doing something uncharacteristic and a Nigerian Prince doing something characteristic. I’m glad I did. I got to see something of the Lisping Barista I never would’ve suspected.
What’s a girl got to do to get fucked in this hick town? I said to myself. Well, if I can’t get fucked, then at least I can get fucked up. An hour later, he drops me off back home and I lock myself in the bathroom so I can think. It’s something I like to do. Run a bath, light a joint, and wallow in self pity.
I lay there for a good long time, letting it soak in that I’m a loser. Then there’s a second thing I like to do. I borrow a razor from my roommate’s stash. You know, the cheap kind, with pink plastic handles. I take it apart, let the plastic float away, and hold the little blade like it’s a fly I just caught in my fingers.
I’m working on a design on my outer thigh. I roll over on my side to study it and decide where I want to put the next line. I thought it was going to be an angel when I started, but I’m not that good an artist, so now it’s just some modern art, I guess. I decide I have a thing for parallel lines. They never get closer, never touch, and never get in each other’s way. That’s just the thing I want to see, so I make the cut.
I have a lot of metal and ink. This is the same, but it’s different. It’s the same in that I’m making improvements. It’s the same in that it hurts, but feels good at the same time. It’s different in that it’s all mine, my own creation and my own thing. I don’t let anyone see my cuts, not people who fuck me, not even my tattoo artists. It’s a way I have of opening up and taking care of what’s inside. I don’t let people see my lungs, my spleen, or my liver, so I don’t let them see my cuts.
I have cuts on my wrist, too; but they’re entirely different. I make them when I’m shit faced, full of rage, and wanting to punish someone, anyone. I don’t mind if you see those because I want you to feel bad.
It’s strange how it takes a while for the blood to run, like it had been sleeping and had trouble waking up; but, then, when it comes, it’s redder than I remember it. Pretty soon, the bath water is stained as pink as the razor handle, so that I can’t even find it.
I look at my cuts and I’m about ready to cry, not because I feel bad, but because they’re so beautiful. Artistically, they’re no big deal. My work is at the level of a kindergartener, but it’s mine. I do it for me. No one can judge. No one sees it. It’s just me. As real as I can be.
I’m just beginning to forget about all the shit in my head when my roommate starts knocking on the door. Apparently, she needs to pee. Well, I pay rent here, too, even if I’m not on the lease, so I have as much right to the bathroom as she. I run the water to drown her out. I know it’s mean, but this is my me time. Besides, the bath is cold. When she she hears the water, she starts threatening she’s going to evict me. Yeah, right, I thought, I’ve heard that before. I hold my breath and go under, blowing bubbles. All I can hear, besides the bubbles, is a distorted wha, wha wha sound, like the grownups in a Charlie Brown special.
When I come up for air, she’s still at it. She’s really starting to kill my buzz. I was just beginning to get comfortable with the perfect mixture of pain and bliss, but I get out, carefully drain the pink water, wrap myself in a towel, and unlock the door. She has a cow when finds her clothes in a heap on the floor. I borrowed them to go on that sorry excuse for a date. I don’t have anything that nice.
She picks them up and looks them over all the while she’s still jawboning me, saying that’s her stuff and she never gave me permission to wear it. Yeah, and she had to pee so bad. Right. We must have got the skirt dirty on the floor of the cave and the Cowboy dude may have popped a button when he he was groping my breasts. She goes apeshit when she sees the missing button. I’m like, chill bitch, they’re only material things, but she’s all into fashion and shit like that. One of those types.
Next thing, she decides that’s her towel I’m using, too. Pack up your shit, she says, you’re moving out.
I say, fine. I’m going. You can keep your fucking towel. I bunch it up and throw it at her. By now we’re in the living room, the curtains are open, and the neighbors have started to gather to see what all the brouhaha is all about. My tits are flopping around and my ass is hanging out for the whole world to see, but I don’t care. Have a good look, people, this is what tits and ass looks like. This is what that bitch, and all the other bitches and pricks, have reduced me to.
I could tell my roommate and all the neighbors are more embarrassed than I am even though I’m the one who just got evicted and was standing around as naked as the day I was born. I think about strutting my stuff and doing a little dance just to rub their faces in it, but then I see what they’re looking at. They’re not looking at my tits even though my tits usually get plenty of attention. They’re not looking at my ass even though there’s many who admire a piece of ass. They’re not even looking at my ink even though I’ve paid a lot of money for it. They’re looking at the design I‘d been etching on my outer thigh.
I wish I could say why I felt more humiliated about those people seeing my cuts than I felt about my bare tits and ass. I didn’t even care that they witnessed the scene with my roommate kicking me out. She was acting the fool, not me. But, my cuts, that’s different, that’s private, that’s like you’re looking right at my soul. I felt naked.