Scars

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Or tattoos with better stories.  A list of interesting injuries I’ve had seemed like the most apropos post for the day, seeing as I’m temporarily wearing an eye patch.  While cutting the dead wood out of a neighbor’s rose, I accidentally held a branch so that it whipped the white part of my eye.  Apparently, because eyes heal fast, I’ll be better in a day or two.  In the meantime, I’m bumbling around like a pirate without depth perception.

It is my opinion that scars are beautiful, fascinating, and nothing to be ashamed of.  If you don’t have any scars, have you really lived? There’s something about a few scars, whether they’re from a carefree childhood, a foolish adolescence, reckless young adult-hood, or a satisfying and varied maturity that attests to a life well and fully lived.

  • My earliest remembered injury is probably breaking my left arm in preschool.  I was on a playground pretending to be an ice cream maker- a risky profession if ever there was one- when I tripped on peeling footing while running to deliver a ‘cone’ to one of my parents.  And careened head first into a concrete wall.  I managed to absorb some of the impact with my arm, and the rest is history.  My cast was pink.
  • I have two scars from walking into fences.  One of the incidents also came with a tetanus shot.  The one minus the tetanus shot came first: the jagged top of chain-link across my chest.  The second one involved a dog getting its leash wrapped around me while I played with him (his name was Harper, German Shepherd) and backing me into a broken wood fence at the horse stable I was riding at at the time.  I didn’t tell anyone for about an hour but when my Dad came to get me I finally mentioned it.
  • Similarly, the second time I broke an arm (the right one this time), I was roller skating.  I was in fourth grade and managed to fall in just the right (the wrong?) way to crack myself a new wrist between my elbow and the original one.  I calmly skated off the rink and when dad came over to ask if I was alright I said only “I think we need to go to the hospital”, cradling my surreal arm as proof.  Of course once we got into the car I devolved into sobs and moans about how I would surely die.  But our supermarket had faith and sent me a goody bag.  I’m still sure that’s why my arm is such a strong specimen now.  Wild Oats believed in me.
  • Sometime in early middle school I was at a day camp at Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts.  A boy put a tack on my chair (is this the part where I admit that I maybe did it first, to no effect?) and I put my hand right on top of it with a good deal of weight.   I didn’t mention it until my parents came to pick me up (about an hour later) though in the meantime I was trying to pull it out, which was oddly difficult.  As I twisted it around I gruesomely imagined how I was likely irrevocably tying my capillaries and nerves up in impossible knots.  That was my left hand, I have the scar between the bases of my index and middle fingers.
  • Around fourth grade I had to get four stitches when I fell down running on our wood porch in socks.  It sounds stupid, but I was on the porch when I heard one of my friends at the door (same one I went roller skating with, funnily enough) and made a dash to let her in. Said dash lasted a split second and then I was on the ground trying to staunch the blood flow from my shin.  I wasn’t allowed to play in physical education, but my darling gym teacher bent the rules for my beloved kickball.  Bless his heart.
  • I’ve got a pretty recent scar, this time on my left shin, from cutting myself shaving my first day of Christmas break freshman year of college.  Somehow I just sliced it up.  That’s not a very interesting one, except that I somehow thought it would be more useful to call the parent who wasn’t home to ask for help, rather than the one directly down the stairs.

Not too many people are looking at me with the eye patch on. Or maybe they are, but they’re all far enough to my right that I can’t see them.  Do you remember that dog in The Call of the Wild who was blind in one eye? And attacked other dogs whenever they approached him from that side?  I kind of get it now.  Not the attacking part, but it’s an odd view of the world.

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