Metaphor

I sliced my life open with the lid of a tin can.

An accident, of course. Made a stupid decision when the can opener failed me. Just left gaping holes in the top instead of cutting it clean off.

Thought I’d go over the spot again. And again. And again — three or four tries like, oh this time it’ll work. Next thought I’d cut it with my pocket knife. Like MacGyver, I’m a real problem solver. Failing that, I put a blunt, inappropriate tool into a half-opened hole. Thought I’d wrench it wide open. Brute strength or strength of a smile or some bullshit people tout as positive solutions to complex problems.

But I’ve learned.
The sharper, harder thing wins out in the end. Turns out that’s how tin cans and truth both work.
Who knew.

Pressure doesn’t stop the bleeding, not in the long run. Maybe give me a brief interlude to clean myself up a bit. Get the butterfly bandages attached. Hold the two pieces together like if I do, they’ll magically reattach.

Instead, I’m stuck with this wound that I wish I had been smart enough not to acquire. Every second is a brief flicker-like reminder. Move too fast and bump against the wall, and a stab of pain blooms under the surface of the bandage I’d hoped I’d be able to ignore. Not even sitting, standing, doing nothing. Because then there’s the throbbing and the long stretches of thoughts like — oh god it’ll never get better; oh god what if this kills me; oh god what if I don’t survive.

I won’t survive.

Nights trying to sleep while not developing unnecessary doubts about abilities to use can openers or proximity to tin cans or whether or not it was the right thing — but you were trying…

Arguments of what if I hadn’t, had though, had planned, known the inevitable outcome of trying to go about the right thing in the wrong way.

Ah but that’s wasting time and energy and I know I need to get up and get back to living. But feeling listless and like you need some goddamn assistance is about as far as you get before you pass out alone in a room full of ghosts. In a life full of holes the can opener didn’t quite cut right with rims bent sideways — proof of tools that didn’t work that way.

Wake and remind myself: as soon as the pain becomes overwhelming, just hold it up above my heart and tell myself it’ll be alright. Despite the non-stop ache.

Other options include cutting my thumb off to spite the wound I don’t want.
And that response is disproportionate, after all. So I’ll be watchful and see if cutting yourself up with badly opened tin cans doesn’t kill you.

And if it does:
oh well, oh well.

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