When I was thirteen, I discovered that I suffered thorns.
Not the kinds that grow on rose stalks, but soft, fleshy lumps sprouting from my hands. It started as an itch in the palm. Then they reared their ugly, pointy-shaped heads, like a plantation of crocus buds in spring. They grew more prominent with each passing day, bending flesh and bone where they bloom. I tried to shave them off, but they burst painfully, leaving behind infected abscesses and emitting an acidic smell. Each time I cut them off they seemed to grow back bolder and firmer, cracking razor blades, splitting skin. I tried keeping them trimmed for so long, covered my hands with bandages to conceal the suppuration and sprayed perfume into the wounds to mask the stench. The lumps didn’t give up the fight. Slowly, they chiseled out a distance between myself and the rest of the world. I couldn’t reach for other people. I tried touching myself, sating the starvation in me, but the nibs cut up my thighs and perforated my inner walls. I laughed and bled out my satisfaction, came over and over to the thought of inflicting this pain on other people, showing them the nature of my hell. I stopped shaving the nibs off and instead let them grow long and spiky, watching the world retract as I engorged. I sharpened the outgrowths like knives until they were strong enough to penetrate the mold which kept me imprisoned. I would not be pretty, I would be rage and ravish and rain on a November day. Smile, you deranged Dorothy, for the world has grown cold and loosened its grip on our fragile hearts.
It is time we showed them our true selves.