I have a love-hate relationship with being naked. You can take that literally and figuratively—God knows I do.
I had a deal once with a friend of mine—I get naked for photos and she includes a cat in hers. Wait—what? How did that happen?
Because—that’s how we’re each inclined and the idea of it nearly amused us to death whilst imbibing one night. Literally, I might add. She fell off the curb mid-giggle and was nearly flattened by oncoming traffic.
But all’s well that ends well—she’s still around for photo-ops.
As for me—well, I’m still obscuring my nakedness. And you can take that figuratively and literally as well. My bare butt is never splashed across your screen because it’s always covered by someone else’s idea of a good time.
If I said it didn’t feel compromised by obfuscating myself I would be lying. I have, after all, stripped naked emotionally and vomited my soul across your computer screen, so what’s a little ass-crack between friends?
Yeah, maybe you’re thinking “That’s it? Your blog is the measure of your soul?”
No, you beautiful cynic—it’s the measure of all that I’m willing to share with the public.
And what are you going to do about it really? What am I going to do about it? Get dressed and cross my legs after you’ve heard me ranting about cunts and fears and desire and what I really think of how people write and fuck?
Aren’t we closer than that? Haven’t we gone deeper than that?
“But you don’t even know my last name…”
Well I’ve fucked and written and edited and proofread under these exact same conditions and let me tell you, fucking and writing are kindred when it comes to personal revelations…
Wounded flesh, marked flesh, story-time flesh defaced not with words but the breadcrumbs of life, of dreams realized and forgotten, of choices made or avoided…all crumbs I wish to follow with some but not with others, my own crumbs an invitation or deterrent depending on your point of view.
Depending on what keeps you awake at night.
I oftentimes read others flesh as adroitly as I read their words. Read me. Some do, others do not, and like words abandoned, misunderstood, sub-par, opaque, or dead wrong, sometimes-strangers can leave us much more denuded than we were originally found.
My skin-sack is impersonal when compared to what it contains. Contain. Container. It is mine and I appreciate its functions but it is alien as well. Marks, tattoos, and scars—I have chosen them to remind me of what is mine and what is not yours.
That is all.
Boundaries of ink, maps written with keloids and damaged dermises, and don’t all writers have them? Do we not all have moments when we abandon pen or keyboard, leave unannounced the ‘nevermore’ to hang in the air between us. Isn’t enough enough sometimes, or perhaps too much?
Leave off, my boundaries whisper.
Eat shit and die, my scars respond.
We are kindred, you and I, if you are familiar with such moments. It is more than Bokononism. And to hell with Vonnegut. He was too creative, too ethereal and philosophical to rub shoulders with likes of me.
We are a sum of our most exalted and derided parts. We are also querulous assholes if we claim understanding of other people’s parts through sheer comparison to our own.
Your map will read differently than mine. It may be written in your original language and not the common tongue. I like that. Now that I know that it’s true, of course.
If I were to unzip my skin sack for you I would startle you (maybe) by showing you (honesty) things that have never before been unpacked, my instincts urging me run and seek or shelter or to boldly unzip and stand there naked, inviting you to do the same, to look steadily, without either of us flinching.
Look. And look again.
Never stop looking.
And I will do the same.