A Scar Is Not a Story
The sentiment persists that scars construct character. I wish it were that easy.
Tracy O'Neill is the author of The Hopeful (2015) and Quotients (2020). She was a 2015 National Book Foundation 5 Under 35 honoree and a 2012 Center for Fiction Fellow. Her writing has appeared in Granta, Rolling Stone, The Atlantic, the New Yorker, LitHub, BOMB, Narrative, Guernica, Bookforum, Vice, VQR, Austin Chronicle, and Catapult. She attended the MFA program at the City College of New York and the PhD program in communications at Columbia University.
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Imagination could only take me so far. I was ready to dance—and this time my mom couldn’t say no.
Once it happens, sleep paralysis tends to recur. It’s as if a spirit has marked your bed, like the first coming has irreversibly altered you.