Sometimes my phone doesn't recognize my fingerprint. Which seems like such a first world problem that I'm embarrassed to lead with it. But, on bad days, my unrecognizable fingerprint leads me to a lot of existential questions. Like- who am I? Or who does my thumbprint make me out to be?
Have I touched you? Has my thumbprint decoded messages from the freckles on your arm? Is this swirling identity like the inside of a tree? Does it know how long I have left, how long I've been traveling, where I am going to go?
Or is life's plan less permanent than the universes on our flesh? This thumbprint was chosen for me. A thing I cannot share, cannot give, cannot leave behind. When we feel like reinvention, like it's time to start anew, there are parts of ourselves that we cannot shake. So who can we become, when so much of us is hardwired?
I have spent a lifetime trying to reinvent myself. I was always too sensitive, too innocent, too (for)giving. In every dynamic, I was the maternal one: the one gone to for guidance, or help, but the last one told the fun stories. I kept moving- from school to school, to a different state, I even went traveling and told myself that, for two weeks, I could be whoever I wanted to be. But I was still just me.
I cried when that random drunk guy sloppily leaned over, while I was in the middle of talking about how much I love live music, and kissed me. And I fell head-over-heels for the man in the leather jacket who told me that I sweated sugar and linked pinkies with me through Belfast. I was still just me.
But there are some things that we can't take with us. Leather-jacket-love-stories stay where they came from. Wherever we leave our thumbprints, will we be remembered? Or covered over as quickly as we came?
I wonder if playing thumb-war is the most honest argument--just two identities battling it out. If we could solve everything with hand games; if scissors always cut paper, if paper always covered rock, if rock always broke scissors...then my phone would always recognize my identity and the swirling fingerprints that are meant to say so much about us would speak for themselves so we wouldn't have to talk so much.
This is Me:
My name's Melissa. I'm the girl with her hands in her journal.