The greatest pain was when I took a slap shot to the inside of my thigh, high and close to the inside. The bruise blotted first yellow, red veins beneath, then a mottled purple that grew as blue as my eyes. My body seemed to see itself for the first time, how much pain it was capable of taking. I limped and learned to clench my jaw when sitting. It would not take long to heal: mere weeks.
The greatest pain was when I first started drinking tea, as strong and dark as my parents took it, earl grey or lapsang souchong. A huge cup brimming, just-brewed, that spilled into my lap: the inside of my thigh, high and close to the inside. The moment of unease, elbows, wet wool and howl. It burned the skin off, painless to slough off, but the wet throbbing pulse beneath was a new kind of seeing, the inside of my eyes newly tender, everything newly fragile. Walking with a secret, anti-bacterial ointment dripping, dried pus, how long will this take to heal? The answer: months.
There is no pain now when I touch my thigh, high and close to the inside. There are soft marks, where the skin stretched to accommodate new flesh where it had lost the old, through impact or through fire. It is no longer a great pain.
© 2015 Anna-Christina Betekhtin, All Rights Reserved.