The first time I ever cut myself, the best part was after: swabbing the wound with a cotton ball, carefully drying it, inspecting it, this way and that, cradling my arm protectively against my stomach. There, there. I cut because I can’t deal. It’s as simple as that. The world becomes an ocean, the ocean washes over me, the sound of water is deafening, the water drowns my heart, my panic becomes as large as planets. I need release, I need to hurt myself more than the world can hurt me, and then I can comfort myself. There, there.