This is what karma looks like

A year ago I wrote a story about injuries I was jealous of and a day later I ran into a wall and my chin was navy for a month. Here's the story anyway because now I have the world's healthiest chin again.

Things I'm jealous of:


I wish I scarred easier. Nothing makes me more jealous than someone pointing casually to a part of their body that tells more of a story than the kind of stories my body tells: “Good morning I am a shoulder.”

My sister has a scar on her forehead because she ran into a kitchen chair as a child. And a few years ago I had to have a test done where a doctor pulled a slice of bone out of my back through a giant syringe and I have no physical proof to back up this story besides a hospital bill, because the cut disappeared hours later.

Some people walk into chairs and get to celebrate it for the rest of their lives, I could spend a year juggling chainsaws in South Asia and no one would believe it, maybe even someday I would forget it had happened. “South Asia,” I would say, “Now there’s a place I’ve always wanted to go.” I wish I scarred easier.


I wish I sunburned easier. Nothing makes me more jealous than people who get to enjoy the memory of sunlight days after they return indoors, peeling off pieces of their skin in long, clear strips like pubescent snakes.

One summer when he was little my brother spent too much time outdoors with no UV protection and for days he couldn’t wear a shirt and would sit on a stool in the kitchen, feverish and hunched over from pain. His skin was bright red and shiny from the aloe vera and his bones poked out and he looked like an injured demon playing Gameboy and eating corn chips.

Once I thought I had a freckle but it was actually a speck of chocolate. The only time my skin has changed color was when I forgot to wash my new dark-wash jeans, and my legs turned navy from the dye. I wish I sunburned easier.


I wish I blushed easier. Nothing makes me more jealous than people whose faces glow when they exercise, like lightbulbs powered only by soccer, tennis, and chasing the bus.

My friend Katie can’t keep any secrets because she turns bright pink whenever you ask her anything. In high school we always knew who Katie had a crush on and who was having a surprise party and what was for lunch because her face would switch from peach to apple to cherry; she was like a 14-year-old lie-detector test. If Katie were a lie-detector test I would be every machine besides a lie-detector test, never changing, always giving the same non-blushing answer. I am an electric sandwich maker, a can opener, a broken alarm clock.

Once I bought a brand of blush so expensive it was like applying quarters to my face every morning, but my cheeks still look less like roses and more like rug burns and no one was fooled. I wish I blushed easier.


I wish I bruised easier. Nothing makes me more jealous than someone rolling up their jeans and showing off a giant swollen mark on their shin “Look what happened on my bus ride yesterday.”

Last week while getting off the bus I yelled “THANKS!” to the driver because I’m working on being polite when I feel shy and then, once I had all eyes on me, I stepped off the bus, misjudged the distance to the ground and fell shoulders-first into a puddle while three tied-up dogs watched. It hurt a lot, and I can roll up my jeans and talk about it, but there’s nothing to show. I wish I bruised easier.
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