Cut for a second time 2015.09.30


I was addressing papers last Tuesday night when my assistant, Bella, looked at me and asked if I was a slow healer. I gave her a quizzical look until I realized what she was asking.

The previous Tuesday she noticed a cut above the inside corner of my left eyebrow. I remembered that wound. I was at Lake Hudson taking photos of the Youth Jamboree, moving into position to get a shot of the archery range. I had to break through some underbrush and encountered raspberry vines. A thorn left its mark on my forehead.

But that wasn't the wound she was seeing. It wasn't a matter of slow healing; I had a new injury this week.

It happened Sunday about 8:30 p.m. Colleen and I were about to visit my parents and running later than we wanted to be. I headed for the bathroom and found it occupied and quickly ran upstairs to use the other bathroom.

I started walking back to the stairway when I slammed into something. Wham!

I thought it might be a bad one so I went back to the bathroom, turned on the light and saw the gash. Skin split open, right at that inside edge of the left eyebrow. My immediate thought was this: "I need to explain this to my wife. What can I come up with?"

I gave a hint to the problem a couple of sentences ago when I mentioned turning on the light. I had been walking in the dark and Colleen was about to say, "I told you so."

There are various things that I do that she labels wacko and one of them is walking in the dark. She's all about turning on all the lights. I prefer walking carefully in the dimness. I don't mean pitch dark. There's always some light in the darkness. Street lights; neighbor's porch lights; digital lights from implements; the moon—it's seldom truly dark. I can still see.

The problem this time was that I had been in the light and now I was in the dark. My eyes hadn't adjusted. The stairway door wasn't in its usual closed position. And I was just amazed by the way forward motion comes to a complete halt so quickly. One second you're moving, the next your head crashes into the edge of a door and goes no further.

I knew there was no way out of it, I needed to confess. I walked downstairs—I don't recall if I turned on the lights, but I doubt it—and walked into the bathroom asking, "Do we have any butterfly bandages"?

She soon was saying, "I hate it when I'm right." I don't know if that's entirely true, but I could accept the fact that she hates being right when it involves blood flowing down the face.

We had no butterflies. I asked Andi down the block if she had any, but she didn't. I asked Kim across the street and she did. I ran over to her house and saw a butterfly big enough for a major wound across a large expanse of flesh. For me, it was just a little cut. No bandage across the eye, please.

Colleen was soon at work with scissors and a Band-aid, fashioning a do-it-yourself butterfly. She applied it, with one wing fixed to the eyebrow, telling me that my eyebrow needed a little thinning out anyway.

We went off to my parents' house and my mother never asked until we were leaving if I had something on my face. My wife did a good job.

The wound appeared to be in good shape in the morning, but I cut another butterfly out, leaving off the eyebrow leg, and went off to work.

Now, a week later, I think the healing has progressed well. Sure, there will be a scar, but I don't mind. The price I pay for a stupid habit.

No one is going to notice anyway. I wrote a column a few weeks ago about the home barber kit that Colleen gave me last year—and about her broken promise to cut my hair. 

I finally got her to cut the back of the neck a few times now. That was always the toughest part when I did it myself. On Sunday, I convinced her to go further. I put the one-inch cutting guide on and told her to give it a try. 

She did really well until I urged her to cut the front. When I looked in the mirror, I exclaimed, "It's gone!" One side was really short. She said she could fix it up. I said, "There's no fixing; it's gone." It looked like I got too close to a flame and it was singed off.

Get used to it, I'll tell Bella on Tuesday. My hair is a slow healer.