Random Memory

Song of the moment: The Wild Kristofer Åström

I was mucking about with a knife today (as I am wont to do) when I was violently hit by a memory from my younger years.

I was in the first grade. I know this because it was long enough after the incident where I printed off the entire card catalogue for me to be able to show my face to the librarian without her mouth tightening noticeably, but not quite long enough for me to be comfortable doing so. Therefore, I spent a lot of time in the aisle furthest from her desk.

It just so happens that this aisle had an entire section for arts and crafts. This was also the phase in my development where crafty shit was novel and exciting to me. So, I spent some time looking through these books.

One particular book featured both crafts and illusions. The illusion I found most interesting (mostly because I could do it immediately) involved writing on your skin and having it magically “appear” later. And all I needed was a sharpened pencil or a pen.

That’s right. This book was telling me, a child, to scratch words into my arm, let them fade, then vigorously rub the spot to have the reddened words appear as if by magic.

Of course, I tried it (ever the intrepid little scientist). And sure enough, it worked. Maybe not as well as the image in the book might suggest, but it did work. The girl in the book had a whole shopping list in red down her forearm- I had managed one word (my own name- a narcissist from the start) and it didn’t show with the same dark red intensity as the red ink on the illustrated girl’s skin.

Had I cared enough, I probably would have continued my “scratching” experiments. And probability states that, in my quest to achieve the perfect markings in the book, I’d have eventually drawn blood. Thankfully, I was a capricious child, and something else caught my eye, pushing the “illusion” far from my mind.

And people wonder why teens cut themselves. Their goddamn libraries were telling them to when they were 6! Or, at least mine was. How I didn’t end up a cutter is beyond me.

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