The Skin is frazzled. There is an oblong red spot below the cheekbone, remnant of a hormonal and fiery bloodstream. A burgeoning white pustule sits at the jawline and another rests between the eyebrows, suggestive of late-nights. Raised bumps like ant hills on the forehead indicate a habit of dairy and peanut butter indulgence. The scattering of faint pink on the cheeks are scars from insomniatic emotions.
The Skin is a map of the inner- and outer- goings of this body. It is an uneven terrain: steep slopes, shakey rocks, squishy mud. It is the battered battle scars of a bewildered existence. Being anything but beautiful. It brings the aftermath of an internal massacre. The gift of resilience. The humility of imperfect.
The Skin blushes as he looks into my eyes, hiding for no one. It flushes while I push my body on a run, glistening a bright crimson. It pales after sleep deprived nights, losing vigor and energy.
I view The Skin as objectively as possible like an empirical scientist. Using the possessive “my” would mean taking responsibility for the catastrophe. It would mean a stake in identity. So I research for The Skin, googling things like “retinol for acne,” “acne scars,” “food causes acne?”, “acne makes stronger stories.” I learn the intricacies of The Skin’s layers, how active ingredients churn over the microscopic cells faster, producing thicker skin. I could use some thicker skin, I think to myself, imagining a sturdy barrier against any incoming atrocity. How that would make life easier.
Over time, I have noticed that The Skin is happy when treated with care: it likes sunlight and warm teas and gentle touch and light slatherings of lotion. I have come to appreciate The Skin’s sensitive nature. Even at its worst, assailed with inflammation, I now love The Skin for what it is: the warm hues of my heritage, freckles from childhood summer camps, colors of my emotions.
I now accept that The Skin is my skin. An embodiment of my glorious imperfection. The continuity of my existence. And the audacity of an aphorism it stands true to: this too will pass.