Fiction, Poetry & Prose

The Toxicity of Self

By Katarina Perez

1

     As I do the dishes I think about my twice ex-girlfriend who continues to be polyamorous, very happily, as she appears to be, through my secret social media stalking. She has beautiful, long, frizzy-messy hair. How could I ever break up with her? How could I do it twice? She is so eccentric and ever changing. I could never handle it. I couldn’t, yet I yearn. How many times have I masturbated today, and to whom? To what. I am almost never horny, perhaps only in my dreams. There I seem to fuck everyone. My best friends, my psychologist, my mother. What do these dreams mean other than the obvious? How much sugar have I consumed today? Caffeine. How many pills have I taken? The toxicity is subtle; the unconscious if it were a brain. The suppression of desire to rebel against what? Our own imposed limitations. Our moral rationalizations, yet deep down I feel so immoral. Am I sick or am I normal?. Pleasure. Pleasures. The flaws that I measure on others and self-measure. What I see wrong in others lives deep within myself. I can only see because I have eyes. What if I had fucked with all my flings? What else would I have obtained from it other than self absorbed satisfaction? Pleasure. Pleasures. Ego treasures.  Yet love feels not so pleasurable. Not as exciting. Not as addictive. Not as obsessive. Not as interesting to this toxic mind. To this toxic of mine. To love is to whine. To crush is to dream. To dream is to escape our own reality it seems.

I no longer bite my nails. It’s been this way for five days now. The insides of my car are clean. It smells good, which is important to me.  About 3 months ago during a research for an investigation class I read that tattoos could be an expression of self destruction. Which one would count as self destruction? The amount of tattoos? The complexity of them? The amount of time each one of them took to scar my body? These questions interest me. There are nine tattoos on my body. Most of them  are small, with a minimal design. Interesting enough; the bigger, more elaborate ones, are the ones that hold a “deeper” meaning. A big basil plant on my right arm symbolizes the spiritual enlightening stage of my life; the basil plant that my greatest love gifted me. My greatest love hurt me the most. Heart, broke. The amount of time it took my friend to tattoo this on my arm was about 5 hours. It is also the biggest tattoo that I have. Can we convert these facts into grounds for self harm? The smallest tattoo on my body is a Scorpio symbol. An ex. A good ex. A good love that did not satisfy me. Self harm, perhaps? The weirdest tattoo on my body is an album cover of one of my favorite artists. There was no reason for me to get this tattoo other than being at a tattoo place with friends from my past who were getting a tattoo themselves. Does self harm require no reason? I am not yet sure about my agreements or disagreements with the statement of tattoos as indicators of self harm. Neither do I agree or disagree to the statement of tattoos as self expression. Self expression? Isn’t existence enough? To express what? For what? To whom?   

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