Tuesday, January 31st, 2006 • 1 Comment on Scarred For Life
Everyone has scars. It’s hard to get through life without collecting a few. I have several just on my hands, for instance. My right hand has suffered more than my left, probably because I’m right-handed and tend to thrust that hand into dangerous situations.
There is a very old crescent-shaped scar from a fish hook on my left index finger. Mauricio, the love of my adolescent life (one of them, anyway), accidentally hooked me with his fishing pole one summer day when I was twelve. He wasn’t fishing at the time, just playing around. Twenty-six years later, I still have the scar to remember him by.
Both of my thumbs have scars. The left thumb scar is a reminder that hot glue is hot. I learned that lesson around 1988. The right thumb scar is from my first experience at making caramel apples in October 1990. I think the caramel hurt worse, but it smelled better.
I have two small, circular scars on the inside of my right wrist from trying to climb an eight-foot chain link fence when I was fourteen. My partner-in-crime was Cheryl and for some reason we thought it would be a good idea to climb the fence behind her house despite the “no trespassing” signs. I don’t remember what was back there, or if I ever knew. I just remember the lace of my sneaker getting caught in the chain link when I was at the top. I slipped, my wrist came down on the sharp, rusty prongs of the chain link and I screamed. The pain was incredible, but it was the blood that really scared me. I probably should have gotten a tetanus shot, but I didn’t want to get in trouble.
I have a small scar in the palm of my left hand at the juncture of my life line and head line, self-inflicted with a piece of glass from a broken bottle. I was in Joanne’s car. I was nineteen. I don’t know why I did it.
I have a thin, faint, jagged scar and two smaller, deeper scars across the top of my right hand from breaking up a cat fight between my cats Wilbur and Orville sometime in 1995, or maybe 1996. I foolishly broke up many cat fights over the years, but this time, Orville bit me instead of Wilbur. He sank his teeth in my hand and I jerked away, which is why one of the scars is long and thin. Orville died in 2003, but I still bear his marks.
I have a scar on my right index finger from slamming it in a sliding glass door in 1998. The scar itself is almost undetectable, but sometimes I feel a dull ache in the knuckle when the weather changes.
Those are just the scars on my hands. I have other scars, a couple dozen at least, on my body. Chicken pox scars on my face because I scratched when I was told not to. Scars on my ankles and knees because no matter how many years I’ve been shaving, I still manage to nick myself. A scar on my neck from my cat Annabelle who did not wish to be worn as a fur stole. A scar on my back, courtesy of a tattoo needle (because, really, a tattoo is nothing more than a colorful scar). Faint scars on my arms and legs from stress-scratching that I sometimes do while I sleep, only to wake up with blood under my nails. A scar on my knee from a nasty fall in Disney World in 1989. Various scars from various animals. A few scars from freak accidents that I didn’t think would leave scars. A couple of scars I have no idea how I got.
Sometimes a scar will remind me of the person I was with or what I was doing at the time. Sometimes it will remind me of the pain and fear I felt. A scar can remind me I’ve been a victim, but it’s just as likely to be a badge of courage. And, sometimes, the scars on the outside are nothing at all compared to the scars on the inside.