August 6, 2013

Some incidents left scars on my body. Once I scratched a spider bite on my left thigh, just above and to the left of the kneecap, so hard and for so long that I permanently destroyed some fundamental layer of the skin. It has no melanin. I am pale enough that for most of the year, when the skin around is also pale, it’s not noticeable. If I get a tan, the rest of my leg will brown up leaving a ragged white scrape of flesh. The sun damage still happens but leaves no trace. 

But there are no physical signs of all the hands that held my head before my neck was strong enough. Adults who loved me, or who barely knew me, who held me because I was small, disproportionate, and helpless. A yearlong stream of the gentle and giving who made sure I thrived, or just that I did not die.

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