The door cracks and I hear the squeaking of the floor underneath the feet of a 6 year old who thinks he is being stealth. The time is 3 am, I know because I am awake, finishing up a conversation with the man in the moon. I cannot sleep because my mind is full, Jack cannot sleep because his bladder is. His remedy is quick. Mine is not. The toilet flushes and he attempts once again to play assassin, sneaking up on his mark in the attempt to finish a job. He is successful in his mind, as he crawls into my bed and snuggles next to me. He thinks he has won this round, but what he forgets is that my house doesn’t allow secrets, between the floors and the doors, one is not capable of movement from one room to another, without someone knowing. Moments later, whilst he is finally asleep, dosed off to his secret place, I am now the one to carry out a mission, and return the assassin back to his own bed. The wood floor lets the world know what I am doing, and as I close the door behind me to his room, it gives one more signal to alert him of the crime. But he is far away at this point, and no amount of warning is going to wake him.
I stop by the bathroom myself on my way back to my conversation. I take a look at the mirror and notice something, something that I often forget is even there. You won’t notice it at first, you have to get close. Really close. Uncomfortably close. And by the time you are near enough to even catch the slightest glimpse of the scar, you are close enough for me to whisper something in your ear, like where it came from. But I won’t do that, tell you where it came from that is. Or maybe I will. I will show you mine if you show me yours. Scars are like secrets sometimes, some you keep to yourself, and others you don’t mind telling people about. But the scars on my face and knees and back are nothing compared to the scars on my heart. The ones on my body cut pretty deep in places, the ones on my heart, cut even deeper,
How about you, do you have any scars? Do you want to talk about them?
The eyes are another story though, the lines that start to form out at the edges, like the basin of a river opening up to the sea. I hate the word crows feet, but I like what it represents. My face is full of them now, the wrinkles, the lines that separate my past from my present. I look at them and I see me, the me that has become this way due to the passage of time and the emotions expressed. Like passages on a boat, sailing slowly towards the setting sun, each line represents something different. Scars happen quickly, but wrinkles, they are the true assassins of time and place. They sneak up on you, unlike a small child in the middle of the night. But as the child grows, so does the lines, the laugh ones and the worry ones. A man with no wrinkles is like a painter with no paint. What do you have to show for your life, if not for the marks of life on one’s face?
Wrinkles may not cause scars, but scars, or the story behind them, may form wrinkles.
What are we if not a collection of wrinkles and scars? One is a sign of time trying to kill us slowly, and the latter is a sign of the world taking its turn at us. Nature in its full beauty, the marks on our body like the scratches on stones. If we live long enough, we will be nothing but one large body of wrinkles and scars, but whoa is that life, the one of the person that shows the world their canvas and isn’t afraid to tell their story. But we do all we can to hide our story, to tuck it away like the small child in the middle of the night. We hide our stories because we think people are more interested in the outward beauty of our existence rather than the inward stories we tell of who we really are. The scars can be scary, the wrinkles deep, but isn’t that us, or are we afraid of our own story? The hero of human achievement is not that we have learned to hide the signs of nature, but the downfall of our existence may lie in the fact that we have not learned to live with them.
As I finished up checking out my old scars, I stop and look at my face, I grin and see the canyons that form, I laugh and the canyons grow bigger. My stories are there, on my face and on my body. The good, the bad and the hurtful. I go and lay back down, look out the window and continue my talk. Maybe the moon understands, maybe he gets it too. A place marred with craters and crevices from centuries of just hanging around. Perhaps that is why I come back and talk to him and share my stories of wrinkles and scars, because he isn’t afraid to show me his, and he allows me to talk about mine. He lets me talk about where they come from and sometimes who put them there. What a wonderful friendship to have with someone, the one that talks about the wrinkles and scars, and the one that hopefully makes you laugh enough to develop more of them.