Columns

2008.01.09 Scars tell tales

on . Posted in By The Way

By DAVID GREEN

I’ll rate my current level of junk e-mail as moderate. It’s certainly been worse, but it could be a lot better.

I had an invitation to buy tickets to Morey’s Piers at holiday sale prices. I have no idea what is it or where it is, but it doesn’t matter since the sale expired the day before the mail arrived.

I was almost caught by an ad for a New Toilet Brush that Sterilizes as It Cleans!, but it remains unread.

I’ve been invited to join the thousands of other Americans who are investing in Costa Rican property...and profiting substantially.

Of course there are credit and financing offers, free video consoles, free gift cards, a Ped Egg at half price, cheap drugs, cheap supplements. All of that was just from the last couple of days. Maybe it’s a High Moderate junk mail rating.

This stuff is just an annoyance, a quick click of the “delete” button. I don’t read it, except for the rare moment of intrigue, such as the offer for ReJuveness Silicone Sheeting and ReJuveness Hyper-Heal Cream. The company is the leader in scar management.

I was interested in the concept, not in the act of managing my scars. I subscribe to the belief that scars tell part of the story of your life. It’s not always a good story, but it’s an interesting one. It seems like a shame to get rid of them.

I think many of mine have done some self-management over the years. They don’t show up like they once did.

I suppose if I looked closely, I could still see the mark under my lower lip where my bicycle handlebar went through. You’re supposed to have handlebar grips to prevent that sort of thing, but remember how they get worn out and the ends start to crack and eventually flips downward baring the metal edge of the handlebars? That’s what happened to my bike.

I was pedaling with the Bryner boys and we decided to head for the Morenci airport. The area in the front wasn’t mowed and the grass was at least knee high. I rode through it, hit a hidden five-gallon bucket and handlebar went through skin. Janice Bryner put on a colorful bandage that had pictures of little aircraft carriers and away we went to Devils Lake.

My oldest known scar is in one of my eyebrows. We had a glass-top coffee table in the house on East Street and somehow I broke it and a piece of glass cut me just above the eye. Lucky one there.

There are still traces of the curved scar on my left hand. It matches the shape of a bicycle fender, probably Bob Ackland’s. I had my hand on his tire and he backed up a little, drawing my hand in against the sharp edge of the fender.

Somewhere around my front hairline is a fading mark where I was hit by a rock out in the alley behind our Cawley Road house. Rainy day, we were building dams to stop the water from flowing down to North Street and someone threw a rock my way.

Down around the right ankle is a scar from messing around in the pond on Mulberry Road, just west of M-156. Carl Nachtrieb and I were out there after tadpoles. Instead a found a piece of jagged glass.

These were all childhood incidents. I must have gone years and years without scarring as I let my children take over.

There’s one exception. It’s my most recent scar. Tuesday night at the Observer is when the papers are labeled and bundled with string. I work fast because I want to end the long workday and the scissors are flying.

I think this was the first night of work for my current assistant, Zach Phillips. The poor kid. New on the job and the boss cuts a little too close to his finger and snips it open. A bloody mess.

I mentioned scars to my wife last night who started to talk about a bathtub incident. Great, I said, I can use it for my column.

“No,” she answered, “this is my material.”

And then she started in, “We used to soap up the bathtub.…”

“Stop! I don’t want to hear it. If I can’t use it, just shut up.”

“And there was this ceramic soap dish...”

I plugged my ears and started singing “la, la, la”, but I can’t get her story out of my head. I need ReJuveness Mental-Heal: Wipes scars from memory.

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