My flesh tore wide open, and I didn't know. Or maybe I didn't want to. Because the road was long, and I was tired, and that suffering was enough for the day.
But when your flesh tears open that way, nothing will stop the blood from flowing, at least for a while, with every pulse of a tired heart.
But I didn't feel it then. I didn't see it. Someone else raised the alarm. Then the unsettling warmth.
Then I had to function again. Stop the bleeding. You must stop the bleeding. You can't ignore the bleeding.
Pressure. Apply pressure. Force it to stop. Will it to end.
It's not stopping.
Why won't it stop?
Now your pulse is rising, now the blood flows faster because you're scared.
Go. Fast. Do something. Now.
But then it stops. Just...stops.
You step out into the summer sun, white and unfettered.
Every day you walk a little farther.
Look down, and you see. One little filament, one tiny crystal web.
From one side of that carved canyon to the other.
Then another. A lattice forms. A bridge of new flesh.
Time heals. This is good.
Now it burns again. Now when your blood boils, it itches and nags.
It begs you to claw it wide open again.
After all, it didn't feel like anything.
Now fight it. Try to ignore it. Stay in the sun.
So I wait.
Now a sun-baked clay crust forms.
Safe. Nothing can get inside.
And one day, you give in just a little.
You scratch at it.
It falls away, revealing a fresh scar and raw flesh.
Relief rushes in, hot and sticky.
But you can't fight that force forever.
New clay hardens. Sometimes you scratch it off, sometimes you let it stay.
Sometimes you give in to the bleeding and raw flesh just to feel anything at all.
Sometimes you hide in hard earth.
This is healing.
This is bleeding.
I hope you understand why my hand trembles when I reach for your hand.