Adam B CC
Earlier, as I was washing my feet in the bathtub, I noticed a scar on my right ankle. I am familiar with that scar, I just haven’t thought about it in a while. Certain scars have the peculiarity of disappearing from time to time and remerge unexpectedly. The water I poured down my legs must have been just hot enough to make that scar turn red. My body is full of marks. I have nothing dramatic or obvious, like the scar my brother had on his stomach. An ugly, half moon that reached from one side to the other, a painful reminder of cancer, a mark to keep hidden under the t-shirt. My scars are more subtle, some of them are almost unnoticeable, but when I lay in the sun they all get exposed. They spread out on my body like a road map, but I am the only one who is able to read it, for these scars mean nothing to anybody else. If I open my right eye in a certain way and stand in front of a mirror, I can see a scar right under my brow, that’s the first visual memory left on my body, I was three years old. Stubborn and relentless, I hit the corner of a coffee table.
A few of my scars are associated with people--even though they don’t know anything about it. Summer 2011 on a boat in Sicily, I was trying to maneuver the engine, veered the wrong way, panicked, hit the fire extinguisher with my foot, cut one of my toes on a piece of metal. He grabbed the wheel. We broke up that very summer--our romance is far-gone but the scar is still there.
Earlier, while looking at my ankle I remembered about the insect bite that left a ridiculous mark right on top of the protruding bone. This was a long time ago. My foot, swollen, was clumsy and painful. When I look at it I think about the person I was with when that happened. I think about his mother’s house, the smooth cold tiles in the bedroom, the semi-lit hallway. I also think about what he told me when we chatted a few years later: that that was the right time to play my cute little songs, because that kind of music wouldn’t be fit a for a 30 year old woman and eventually I had to let it go. This is what the mighty artist said, he, who painted for a living. 30 came and went, I am still playing those little songs. The scar and the remembrance come back with hot water now and then. My memory is unforgiving and awfully selective.
When I take off my jeans and wear a skirt for the first time in the spring, I see the round splotchy mark on my knee and I contemplate one of my battle injuries I got on the road while I was on tour. We were at a gas station in Columbia, South Carolina. I tripped on a thick, twisted plastic wire and fell face down on the concrete pavement. Through my ripped pants I saw blood and debris. I medicated it with water and toilet paper in the bathroom of a convenience store. When we arrived at the club I asked the bartender if he had some gauze and peroxide to disinfect the wound. He had a very stern expression and he seemed annoyed by my request. Without uttering a word, he opened a cabinet behind the bar and produced a first aid kit. He then set on a stool next to where I was sitting and motioned for me to roll up my pants and inspected the bloody mess. I felt like a child who had to make up some excuses for her naughty behavior so I smiled embarrassed. He methodically and still very somberly proceeded to clean the area. “It’s gonna sting” were the first words he uttered. “Not that bad” I thought as the cold liquid went down my leg. He pat dry my knee, calmly and confidently applied some Neosporin, gently closed the wound with some adhesive tape strips and asked me what beer I wanted. He never smiled or said anything encouraging, much of anything at all for that matter. I thanked him, grabbed my drink and went sound-checking. The place filled up quickly and I didn’t speak to him again. I looked back at him a few times while I was on stage and thought that after all, he’d been very nice.
Anna Barattin is a musician, teacher, and writer based in Atlanta, GA. Originally from Venice, Italy she moved to the United States in 2011. Over the years, she has toured extensively across Europe and the United States; played in Beijing, China; and released multiple records with her bands, Shantih Shantih and Vermillion Sands. Currently, she teaches American Literature and First-Year Composition at Georgia State University.
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.