On Scars

Using a favorite quotation from an essay or book you have read in the last three years as a starting point, tell us about an event or experience that helped you define one of your values or changed how you approach the world. Please write the quotation, title and author at the beginning of your essay


“Scars have the strange power to remind us that our past is real.” ―Cormac McCarthy, All the Pretty Horses

There is a crescent that runs across my thigh, then down my knee, pauses, and continues in an uninterrupted path across my calf. It is going to be there forever, just like the moles on my skin and the almond shape of my eyes.

“You seem to be healing well,” Dr. Kullman said at my second post-accident check-up, examining my mutilated thigh, “but in all likelihood, there will be some degree of scarring." At the time, I was sure that this was some kind of punishment from the universe. The last thing I wanted was a reminder of the accident on the surface of my skin. Mistakes like tipping a tin of boiling water onto my leg were supposed to be filed neatly away in the back corner of my mind where they could be kept hidden forever. Each morning, I stood in front of my mirror to evaluate the wound's progress. My summer tan was marred by a red blotch that crawled across the front of my thigh and down my calf. Shiny meat on the sides was exposed where flesh had been cut away.

Once the wound had sealed, I resigned myself to a new dress code: long pants, maxi dresses, anything that would help me forget that my flesh had been cut open...

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