Trapped with insufficient light he tends to his wounds. Tracing with his finger tips, finding the hardened, healed and healing skin. The etchings on his arms are intricate, far too complex, and he can’t read them in the dark.
He clambers from the bed and sits on the edge and leans toward the window. Reaching out, he peels back the curtain and gazes at the road. It has been raining, in fact it is still raining. He can see it now, stalled just above the street lamps.
If he had something with which to write he would begin again, start afresh, but he doesn’t have a blade. Of course, there are other ways and he glances at the empty Coke can sitting on top of the nightstand. He could crush it and twist it and twist it until he had fashioned something, something pointed and sharp.
He stands and, turning, he moves alongside the bed. He stumbles in the confined space, steadies himself against the wall and feeling his way he grapples for the light switch.
He flicks it and in the harsh glare he sits on the floor. He looks down at his arms and studies the scars. He is trapped in a cube where it is too bright and he closes his eyes. And he won’t see the Coke can, not unless, not unless he decides.




13 thoughts on “THE SCARS

    1. Thank you, Jana. It wasn’t an easy one to write and I have wrestled with it for a while. And yes it is one of Chris’s photos. Kind regards Mark.

  1. This is an excellent piece which really describes the agony, both physical and mental, of depression. Your (part) sentence ‘He is trapped in a cube where it is too bright’ is a masterpiece brilliantly sums up the sensation of not belonging. Fantastic work, Mark!

    1. This was difficult to get down on paper as I did not want to get it wrong. The starting point was a young homeless man we met who had been a self harmer and his arms were scarred so badly. He allowed Chris to photograph his scars. He was a very gentle and unassuming young man.

  2. “And he won’t see the Coke can, not unless, not unless he decides.”

    That is the battle right there. However we choose to harm ourselves, the choice is ever present. To mutilate ourselves even more? Or not? You have summed up depression in a way that’s horrifying, so very sad, and so very real.

    1. A very sensitive issue which I felt had to be approached gently and I hope I have achieved this. The comments I have received are much appreciated.

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