A Word from the Editor

Welcome to “Scars,” Of Rust and Glass’s 11th installment and the start of our fourth season. Scars are among our most honest and personal reminders of past lessons, wounds, and traumas. Scars are how we display—or conceal—those key moments that made us who we are. So, to introduce this issue, I’ve decided to be honest and personal with you.

As we grow up, and we’re always growing up (or refusing growing up), we accumulate two types of scars:

One is obvious. Where hair won’t grow underneath your chin from when you fell off the kitchen counter as a toddle; a dozen faded cuts from long days and nights in a pizza kitchen; the faint but ever-present line where that kid on your bus stabbed you with a sharpened #2 pencil. 

It’s a series of freak accidents, bad ideas, and escalated confrontations. A rite of passage. Your own unique physical upbringing tattooed onto your body in rivulets and pockmarks.

The second is hidden beneath layers of toughness and forced smiles. These scars can be hard to identify, even harder to bear. Dim memories of your father, who you lost first to alcoholism then to suicide; mocking voices at bus stops, in hallways, and in classrooms; a flashbang in the backyard, followed by automatic weapons and your scathing teenage bravado zip-bound to your wrists so tight they bleed. You can still feel them in life’s quiet moments.

Both last forever, no matter how much you wish they’d disappear. But they made you the person you are today, and you’re grateful. Like an empty canvas or a black page, you can’t do anything with the scars you never received. 

They make you beautiful. They make you, well, you.