I skinned the knuckle of the thumb on my right hand a few days ago. Trying to get our water hose threaded onto the bib at a national park. Under the steady gaze of these fucking immense steadfast mountains – so fucking immense, in fact, that the national park takes its name from the very same.

The mountains were once a coral reef. Like the kind of thing that’s fully underwater, with the fish and the anemones and the, well, the corals. But the Earth changed. Millions of years happened and the seas retreated and the dinosaurs all died and the coral reefs became mountains. The same mountains that watched me coldly unmoving as I knicked my knuckle filling our freshwater tank.

It’s really fantastic, isn’t it? That an ocean should become a desert and underwater reefs should become mountains straining overhead instead? What a plot twist! It’s like the whole tableau was inverted!

You there! Area once filled with water and and all the beasts carried by it: you’ll now be an arid barren place without so much as a reliable drop of your former excess. Gills and fins shall give way to thorns and dust. Bet you didn’t see that coming!

Ahh… but I’ll leave clues. Little hints for the curious ones to come… bits of plant and animal frozen in stone to be read like tea leaves, to tell the story, reconstruct the histories so they’ll know.

Anyway, I like to look at the little thin scab on that knicked knuckle. I like to pretend I earned it through real, honest, hard work. That it’s accompanied by the rough hands of a real, honest laborer, not the pussy-soft hands of a pussy-soft pussy. Ah, but it is not. It is just a thin scab.

But, but maybe… maybe it could be. I mean, it was earned… it’s coming did culminate with fresh water for my family. I provided. Is it, then, so different from a scab earned hundreds of years ago by the man at the well or spring before it, gathering water to sustain his family? Is it not honestly and proudly earned, is it not to be revered?

No. A man doesn’t stop to admire his own accomplishment, that is precisely why he’s created with such a deep need for validation and appreciation! A self-confidence gap so gaping, so vast, that the true weaker sex will often chase affirmation into their own depression.

Nah… not me though, I’m sitting here beaming shitty at this little scratch, this infinitesimal badge of courage. Reveling in it, self-affirming myself by it daily. In fact I hope it never goes away and I may just get the damn thing tattooed on me when it inevitably does.

Because this thing, this this little scab, this says something. I’m doing something. I’m not sitting at a desk, writing another pussy-soft email, I’m pulling Goddamned lifeblood from the Earth in the shadows of a fucking million-year-old, sky-high coral reef.

Beat that.

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