Opening Hours

Opening Hours

[Written by Raumi she/her]

[Photo by Vinicius “amnx” Amano on Unsplash]

[Content Warning: Discussions of body image and body dysmorphia, mental health, self-injurious behaviour.]

I draw a finger over the traces on my arm and the ink jumps to pollute the air around me. It follows me everywhere, a gray cloud that talks for me, and tells me what to listen to. I walk and other gray clouds seem to direct my steps. In a galaxy of weathers, I am blinded by the colours others talk in. I run my hands through my body, and the words erupt from my limbs, spilling ideas and feelings no one understands but me. When I see them in other shores, my insides flutter. Is this what compatibility is about? Or is it just a mirage producing shuddering waves? Make me shiver, and tell me where I need to perforate to fit inside of your brain. A little to the left, perhaps? Should I choose to cut through a different muscle?

I feel the pinch and I spread out on the floor. I see my skin, but I cannot recognise it. I see my eyebrows, but I cannot get them to move. The scrunchies and pins tug at me, and suddenly I am a puppet, my hair the strings that bound me and allow me to interact with the world. I see myself presented as a piece in a gallery, and I nod and admire it, but somehow it doesn’t make me feel anything. I see the technique, the dexterity, but the essence is lost with so many twirls of the eye.

Finally, the curtain falls, it’s time to go home, and when I turn on the lights there’s a new canvas waiting for me. Who will I see? Who will I be? Will I manage to get myself out there, on the fabric, on this skin? Will it be me this time?

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