Sometimes he thought of past love affairs as graffitti written across the story of his life. Most of it was easily wiped away with a rag and any kind of cleaning fluid. In contrast, there were a few scribbles that had been drawn with black permanent ink. These were tougher to remove. Sometimes no matter how much he rubbed and scrubbed, faint traces of them remained for a long time. Finally there was the graffitti that had been carved deep into his surface with a sharp knife and fierce determination. It was usually small because any carving *that* deep took time and real effort. But it was the most permanent. No way could he ever erase it unless layers of himself were sanded away and obviously that was impossible. The only thing to do was accept it as part of his being now, like a scar or a bad tattoo. As it aged in years to come, it became less visible but never disappeared.
— Jonathan Carroll