The Pen May Not Always Win Over the Knife

I am not the same person all the time. Both of us are mad, but only one of us is ungovernable.

One version of me looks on at the other; the latter can’t stop crying. Her thoughts are singularly focused on her tool of choice, which is only a few feet away. She wants to reach for it, but she is paralyzed. The paralysis is the only barrier.

There is too much pain, and no evidence of it outside of her mind. Ink is not heavy enough to paint its picture. Her wrists are not graceful enough to navigate its contours.

But the slices would not be swift. They would be jagged and unclean, just like every attempt at art she has ever made. She hopes blood will tell a better story than her unpolished words ever could, but even if it does not, the disappointment would not be hers to bear.

I am not the same person all the time. When the tears turn into crusty streaks on my face, I sit in silence and solemn wonder. I can’t believe you were ready to go. I don’t know that I am ready to go, but I do know that I am more numb than desperate. I am more depressed than insane. She is fearless in a way I am not.

I trace my thumb along the pen, so light and breakable, wondering how this object can support the weight of my heavy breathing. Just to experiment, I squeeze my fingers tightly together. As I expected, it bends.

When my other self returns, I may not be there. (Terror sounds like a woman I should know, but I have forgotten everything about her, other than her name.) The scars on my forearm are slowly vanishing, like the division between one self and the other. Healing does not always happen in only one direction, and I may soon be the same person all the time.


5 thoughts on “The Pen May Not Always Win Over the Knife

  1. Pingback: Terror + Taking A Semester Off – Akotowaa Ntentan

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