I found the thread.
A tiny white string poking it’s head from the seam, teasing me as I tried to pinch it with my fingernails. I could touch it. I could not move it.
A few days later, it seemed longer. But I had decided that I was not going to pick at it – I made a committed choice to ignore it (because that’s the best way to solve problems, ya know?).
A week later, it lay limply on my sleeve, flirting with my peripheral vision. A challenge, if you will, to determine how steadfast I can be.
Or can’t be.
I pulled, just a little, just enough to feel the tiniest give, satisfaction of doing something I know I shouldn’t dripping cathartic into my veins like an IV. I knew what I had started, but I smiled and swallowed back the lump in my throat. Knowledge of a thing shouldn’t scare a person away.
A little bit everyday, a little more frayed around the edges. Somehow my turtleneck shrunk into a tanktop. I saw the end result when I began to dabble with this string, but it seemed far more striking when I saw the stark black tattoo boldface on my very white, very exposed arm. The change didn’t seem this extreme – this violent – when I started.
And I suppose it didn’t because it wasn’t. It was my doing: my rather simple flicking the string back and forth, caressing it’s silky thinness, the delicious wondering just how hard I’d have to pull for it to come out all at once. I stroked it’s frayed strands and bit my lip in public when that little white thread slipped into my mind again, interrupting my thoughts with that temptation to play.
My shirt dangles on my bare shoulders, precariously balanced on my shameful spine. I swallow harder than I did before, for a much different reason. Curled in my open palm, the string (a miniscule piece, hardly a representation) holds no more allure for me. It was my doing: the pulling, the straining, the seam ripping.
And yet, I wonder how strong this string really is. My eyes skim what remains and the pit in my stomach feels far heavier than anything I’ve eaten recently. If this is what that string can do, it’s certainly stronger than me.