I cut myself today.

On purpose.

Oh, nothing 911 worthy. Heck, pros would sneer. Even my cat would laugh, knowing I didn’t do any more damage than he has done to me when he’s not in the mood to have his teeth brushed or is pissy about some other cat thing.

But nevertheless I did, making thin red lines on my left arm and testing the blade on my right by hitting it against skin. Testing. That’s as good a word as any. Maybe I should not call it cutting at all, the marks being so shallow. More like testing; practicing.

Keeping options open.

There are some things I have control over, such as writing. Sure, I never am able to get the words out quite the way I want; and sometimes they’re probably downright crappy. But I can keep on putting words on the page and trying to make them better, and I know the only one who can make them better is me.

But life outside the self is filled with externals where sometimes even when you try the hardest you can imagine,  even when you try to conceive of every possible variable, even when you want with all your heart for things to go a certain way, it plain and simple turns to shit before your very eyes.

It’s like watching the glass that’s already slipped out of your hands connecting with the floor. Today I didn’t have a chance to register the glass was even slipping before the crash. And now there’s pieces all around, no glue, and just these all thumbs hands of mine.

But a knife is simple in its demands; it has none. Whatever you want to accomplish is all the same to it. So you can rest at ease knowing whatever you do with it will be at your sole discretion.

A discretion that tries to decide the frequently nebulous demarcation between success and failure in such matters.