Doors: Kintsugi

Aria Scarlette, 25 Sept 2019 

Kintsugi = “Golden Joinery” 

It is the Japanese artistic practice of repairing broken pottery with lacquer that is then coated in precious metal. The scars from being broken are then part of the history, and the piece is more beautiful from having endured. 


Today, I watched as a man’s last evidence disappeared from a chat feed, minute by minute. It was the record of a dark day filled with loss, desperation, and deep pain. That day was terrible, and reliving it in a fashion today was rawness renewed. 


Months back, I sent a message in response to a profile I saw. As a general rule, I never message men with no optional narrative information, but I sent him a message. He listed himself as bilingual, so maybe I thought he has learned and seen things. His listed height was tall, but I don’t care about that. In his photo, he was bearded, outside, and he wore sunglasses and a hat. He looked like the vast majority of men on the platform for discreet dating opportunities. He was nothing extraordinary, but I sent him a message, and he sent one back. 

We chatted about life goals, appreciation for jaded humor, and the desire to fuck standard filters that keep people from saying what is at the heart and soul of communication. He expressed dominant sexual preference, and I wanted him to show me everything he had. 

The first time we met, he wore a suit. I smelled him when he hugged me upon approaching the booth near the back of the diner. I watched the mischief in his eyes as he told stories. I saw the way he held his coffee cup with both hands like it would escape accidentally. He didn’t wear a wedding ring, but I knew I would ask later about that observed detail. We parted, and out in front of the diner in public sunshine, he kissed me. For all of the chat about dominance, force, demanding, and taking…the kiss was kind, gentle, quiet, shy, and gorgeous. He barely touched me, and I was hooked. He went one way, I went the other, and we both looked back to catch one more photo frame to remember. 

Then began the slow, alluring dance to find time and to align schedules. We met another few times in public, we met once in private, and then a few more times in public. We filled weeks with chat in between meetings. I will likely detail those meetings at some point, but they seem irrelevant now. Our shared connection and our sex were both crucial learning opportunities for me, but the enduring lesson came from actually breaking, gathering fragments, and carrying sharpness around in my bloody hands.  

There was the day that didn’t go as planned. He messaged from the darkness. I heard his pain the second it hit my phone. He felt lost, outside, and alone. He muttered suicide sounds, and I freaked. I fought in order to reach him, to hold him in the ways I could, to let him know he was important, and to remind him of perspective. I don’t know if I mattered, but he survived. He made choices that weren’t permanent in reaction to temporary situation. He survived, but I do not feel we survived. I rinsed bloody pieces in salty, endless tears, and I carry every part around, still, hoping that the history of us will be beauty again after the repair. 

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