I say I’m going to start posting again, and then I almost forget to. I guess before it gets dark I can whip up a quick story. Folks like to tell interesting stories about scars or tattoos. I don’t have any of the latter, but I do have a number of scars, broken bones, and bruises I can talk about. One of the worst (seemed like the worst at the time as I was about 9 or 10) comes from a bike accident.
Back then I still was not adept at riding a bicycle without training wheels. What was worse is that I had my sister’s old bike, which wasn’t in the greatest shape. One day I walked someone home who lived up the street from me (rolling my rusty old bike up with us). I considered her a friend and in confidence I told her that someone at school was annoying me and I didn’t like that person. This girl turned around and said, “Well you know what? I don’t really like you.” And thus ended a not very tight friendship, but the bitch could have been a bit nicer about it. In frustration and confused pre-pubescent angst, I peddled back home.
I have to stop here and explain the street we lived on. The entire street was essentially down hill. The worst part, however, was right in front of my house. Our driveway was built on this steep curve so when someone wanted to park there they had to pray they didn’t do a barrel roll. My brain was elsewhere when I was peddling fast and forgot this vital piece of information.
As I made it to my house I attempted to slow down, but it was too late. I was there upon the hill and could already sense my death approaching. Stop? The brakes were old and only slowed me down a fraction. Turn? With the extra wheels all I could do was wobble around a wide arc. I managed to get enough control so I didn’t end up flying all the way down the street into the dead end, which was a wall of forest – evergreens and pines where I would meet a bloody death and become one with natural eternity. Instead I became one with the neighbor’s mailbox.
I blacked out for a second. Couldn’t have been more than that. As I sat up I noticed a strange, warm liquid all over me. I realized that it was red and couldn’t figure out where the blood was coming from. I finally figured out it was my face! How? I couldn’t feel it. I staggered to my feet, picked up the bike, and headed back up the hill to the driveway. With my luck, Mom was in the kitchen where she could see me coming up the back stairs and just as I started crying, she began screaming.
I was shuffled into the family room where Mom, Dad, and my sister all got to stare at me. While they tried to figure out how bad I was, they also tried to piece together what happened. I told them about the mailbox. Dad and sister ran over to the neighbor’s house to set it right. When they got back they were laughing. Apparently I had completely unsheathed it from its concrete block. By the time Dad had returned Mom had made up her mind that I need to be in the ER NOW. When Dad tried to shrug it off she got a flashlight, opened my chin, and pointed out that you could see bone. I think he agreed after that.
Twelve stitches. 12. All the while my Dad sat next to me not looking and my Mom watched the doctor like a hawk. I still have a scar on my chin today, although it has been less and less noticeable. The worst scar though, is the emotional one that bicycles have left on me. Other than the time that my aunt and cousin tried to teach me to ride, I haven’t really gotten on one since. They scare the crap out of me. Sorry if people think they are cleaner or that it would be better for me to ride since I’m epileptic, but no thanks. I’m good.
Oh, and then there’s the emotional scar from that bitch, but her loss. I’m awesome.