Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Scar Tissue

I have a lot of scars, but only a few of them are large enough to be readily visible. One of my biggest scars is hardly visible at all actually. This troubles me a bit, because each scar has it's own story. The scars are reminders for things that have happened to me. My most painful scar-story doesn't have a visible reminder, but it does still twinge and let me know it's there. I'll start with that one.
It was the night before New Year's Eve when I was ten, and my brother and I were wrestling in the living room. I don't remember exactly what happened, but somehow he was at the end of the hallway and something made him rush at me. Probably I did or said something mean to him, I remember that he looked angry. He ducked down as he ran into me and heaved up with his shoulder. I flew backwards and stuck my right arm out to break my fall, but that didn't work out so well. I ended up landing with my full weight on that arm, and that arm was extended behind me. So, go like this. Stick your right arm straight out from the shoulder, parallel to the ground, with your palm turned out, perpendicular to the ground. Now, keeping your arm level, move your arm behind you so that your palm is facing out as far behind you as you can. Keep your elbow straight (there's an elbow-locking family trait). Now imagine falling backwards and the palm of your hand hitting the ground first. I broke both bones in my forearm. On the night before New Year's Eve. I broke them so badly that they had to call a specialist to fix it. However, since it was the holidays, I had to wait three days until he was available. With a broken arm. What was even worse was when they set my arm. They never told me what was happening, and they wouldn't let Mama in with me. There were two nurses across my legs, one holding my shoulders down, one holding my elbow and the doctor had my forearm. First, they shot painkillers directly into my bones when the break was. Then they re-broke my arm and set it.

My biggest scar is the one that is barely visible. It starts on the top of my right calf and runs down the outside of my leg. I was riding a BMX style bicycle, with one of those little tiny seats. I stood up to pedal harder to get going faster, and like an idiot I wasn't careful when I sat down and I missed the seat. I sat on the back tire, which then pushed me underneath the seat. This made the bike tip over on the side, also known as my right leg. I slid up the street about fifteen or twenty feet. On my leg. I limped back to the baby sitter's house only to have my leg attacked with peroxide and a wire brush to get out the gravel.

I can skip a few scars and tell you that my elbows are mangled for almost identical reasons, except they involve a big hill and losing control of my bike.

My next biggest scar is smack dab in the center of my left shin. It's about an inch long and maybe a quarter of an inch wide. At the house I grew up in we had a pool. The pool had a jacuzzi attached to it, separated from the pool by a wall that had tile across the top, not rounded tile, we're talking right angles here. The top of the wall was below the water level, so water could flow in and out from the jacuzzi. Well, we used to play King of the Wall. I was up there one day and I was winning too. But then Mama came out and said "You better knock it off, some one's going to get hurt." At that exact moment, someone grabbed my arm and pulled my backward into the jacuzzi. My left foot slipped and my shin scraped its way down the edge of the tile on the wall, neatly slicing of a chunk of my flesh.

My oldest scar is on my right arm just above my elbow. When I was in second grade we were playing some racing game in the Multi Purpose Room. There was that heavy industrial carpet that is like plastic in there. The rules of the game dictated that shoes were illegal, so I was running full speed on this carpet in my socks. When I went around a turn, my feet slid out from under me and my elbow slid across the carpet. The scar is from the rug burn I had as a result.

My hardest-to-see scar is right at the edge of my bottom lip, right in the middle. I was riding one of these:

Except mine was red, not purple. And I think there was only one front wheel, and it was smaller. If you never had one, they were a death trap. The way you rode it was to kneel on the triangle part, kick off with your foot, and hold the handles with your head about a foot above the ground that was rushing beneath you. I was doing just that when those little bitty front wheels hit a crack in the sidewalk and stuck there. My scooter stopped. I, however, hit the ground lip-first. The scar was actually made by my tooth.

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