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Borderlines

Editor’s Note: This piece was awarded second place in the Pulse writing contest, “On Being Different.”

When I started as an intern at a regional Australian hospital in the late Nineties, there was a patient—let’s call her Laura—who was notorious among the emergency-department staff.

Laura had sliced up much of her available skin over the years and had moved on to swallowing cutlery and razor blades. She’d had numerous operations to remove the silverware in

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