Vignettes of Ruin and...

Epidarium (the God of Wearing Skin That Doesn’t Fit)

In Sloth on March 6, 2011 at 12:03 am

The weekend meant that it was time to visit Vincent in hospital.

I opened the wardrobe to pick out something to wear. I had not cleaned or ironed anything since the clothes had been dragged from their hangars and thrown on the floor. Now, a row of dresses was before me; each one a sad and crumpled flower of unfulfilled promise. I picked out a grey dress with lace sleeves, some black hosiery and a pair of shiny shoes.

Before I left, I decided to bring down a bag of rubbish to the garbage room, full of wooden splinters and glass shards from the paintings Vincent had smashed. As I ran down the stairs, a blade of glass punctured the bag and sliced my leg above the knee. At first, I thought it had only ripped a hole in my tights, there seemed only to be a pale scratch. But moments after, warm sticky blood trickled down my leg.

Later, at the hospital, I showed Vincent the gash through my new tights. The blood had dried and it looked angrier than it really was.

“Why didn’t you put a plaster on it?” he asked.

“I didn’t have time,” I said lamely. But I was thinking, I wanted you to see how you hurt me. I wanted you to know I am not impenetrable, that I am fallible. I wanted you to know that even when you are not there, you cut me.

Now the scab is older and I can’t stop picking at it and drawing fresh blood. I don’t think about why it is so satisfying, I just do it without thinking. Epidarium likes that, the wound open and raw. He won’t let me heal. When I try to ignore it, he takes my hand and presses it to my knee and my fingertips itch.

Tell me how it feels, he says, flowing around me and feeding on my weakness like a parasite.

I become warped. I look the same from a distance, but up close I am something else entirely. Eventually, Epidarium will leave me in my new imperfect skin and all my ritual in his honour will have counted for nothing. But still, I keep scratching the surface. Never. Stop. Scratching.

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  1. I guess it’s time to stop scratching and to keep writing… Funny how writing is healing and also can keep the fingers busy!

  2. well actually that is also what I mean by “never stop scratching” – the writing is another way to get under the skin, I am not just talking about the literal.
    Thanks a million for your comments. 🙂

  3. i have a habbit at picking the scabs of pimples off prematurely 😦 it probably doesn’t help at all!

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