I accidentally poured drain cleaner all over my face and permanently scarred myself. At two years old, I saved my toast for later, but when I touched it, it was hard and rough and cold, and it horrified me to know that things changed when I was not there. I owned a brown, cardboard suitcase. My friend cried while he watched his helium balloon drift into the sky, and his father just laughed and pretended to shoot at it. The caterpillar I housed in a peanut butter jar with holes nailed through the lid spun itself a cocoon, and I hurled it down the stairs in fear and disgust. I caught my big toe in the pedal of my bicycle and crashed, scraping most of the skin off my six-year-old nipples. My brother was locked away from me by his disabilities. I stole from my teachers in grade two without guilt. The first opportunity I had to fit in with kids more popular than I meant being mean. I died and came back and lost my religion. I convinced my cousin that I was the devil and threatened his soul. Bullying meant that no one spoke to or even acknowledged me for most grade five. I saw a terrifying angel that told me he would always be with me. I was drowning, and my aunt saved my life. I hated organ lessons. I found a nest dropped to the ground with baby birds prematurely broken out of their shells, their soft fetal beaks gawping open and closed, so I mercy-killed them with my boot heel. I pet a wild red fox in a forest. A girl from my class befriended me over the summer and then told all her friends that I was a loser when school started again in the fall. I came across two books of excessively offensive porn and read them religiously cover to cover. The bear I ran into did not even growl at me. I sewed two stitches through my finger with a sewing machine. I got my period when I was thirteen. The one and only time I found my disabled brother truly sobbing, I held him and we rocked together on the floor for over an hour. The girl I slept with pretended not to remember that it had happened and broke my heart. A friend hanged himself when neither the army nor his father would accept him. I had a boy in my head that told me what to do. I was hit by a car while riding my bike. My cat Pepper died just after my fifteenth birthday. A mule deer licked the palm of my hand. I started smoking. A small monkey grabbed my face and stared intently into my eyes on the streets of San Francisco. I was trapped in a casino while police disarmed a gunman in the parking lot. I beat an injured pigeon to death with a shovel. I lost faith in a friend. A car I was in rolled over, and I walked out without so much as a bruise. At twenty, I became engaged to a man I could not marry. I unwittingly had a religious symbol tattooed onto my ass. I behaved cruelly to someone who did nothing to deserve it. I smoked crystal meth. I lost a friend to a drunk driver. I failed Art History. I googled an old friend that I had not seen in years and found out that he was dead. Two of my therapists abandoned me when they moved their practices. I quit smoking after twenty-one years and worry over its contribution to my death like a body that needs burying.
The above was inspired by BHJ's "Loose Ends By the Score".