The story goes that Josh had a show to play that night and did not want to work his shift that afternoon at [redacted] Pizza, this cheap on-campus spot staffed by local hipsters and frequented by drunk University of Michigan undergraduates at 3 AM [like many things, it's a lot different now than it was in the mid-90's, possibly under new management, thus the name redaction] and 'cause his boss wouldn't give him the night off, J arrived on time, went into the back room, pulled out a tomato and a giant knife and proceeded to slice his hand right open. He was promptly sent home, hand bandaged, and made the show. THAT IS SO PUNK. Like Neal Cassady's dirty bandage waving in the wind, unraveling as he unraveled on the road .
I've told that story before, I hope it's true, that I haven't enhanced it retrospectively too much. That wholehearted embrace of life's little hand-slices is inspirational to me 'cause I do shit like that all the time -- not on purpose [though it has been, at times, in other lifetimes] but 'cause I'm clumsy. Ridiculously accident-prone. Bruises and scratches like nobody's business, or issues with sharp objects that've also been nobody's business, in their own way. I can just say things like that now. I've discussed, previously, my propensity to burns & bruises. Today I will cover my most memorable injuries.
Did this mean I was broken? That I hadn't flown?! Absurd! The swelling concerned the Moms, but I didn't want to get Cindy in trouble (always, even then, a desire to protect the pretty girls).
When two weeks later I still couldn't swing a bat my Dad made me go to the doctor. It was broken. I was excited to have a cast so everyone could sign it. It made me feel popular.
9. Trouble with Balls - late 80's
It hurt like holy hell but I wasn't giving up Skittles & video games that easy (always, even then, ignoring pains to maintain shimmery pleasures).
By the time we made it to the doctor a few days later it was apparently too late for stitches. The scar remains, hidden under my non-existent chin.
Unfortunately at the age of 12 my knife skills were fairly underdeveloped and I sliced off the side of my left index finger. This particular scar is absolutely permanent and hasn't changed in 14 years. It's very noticeable.
That Hannukah I got cheese slicers as a brilliantly original gag gift from three (3) oh-so-amusing relatives. Now I just buy pre-sliced cheese, who has the time.
A few weeks after slicing off my finger, my diary states the following:
"We celebrated Cinco De Mayo at school on Tuesday. Me and all of the girls had a Mexican Restaurant. It was a hit! When we were setting up I dropped a table on my toe. It was bleeding and is bruised underneath. It's supposed to fall off soon. We went to the mall today and I got the most cool summer wardrobe ever."
What happened between '95 and 2002? Did I stop running into things? I started running away, I started running, I got sick all over and couldn't move, my life got dull and crazy too. There's a scar on my left calf, and I know when I got it (2000), but I don't know how. I got my energy back and catastrophe then, too.
5. Palm Slice #2 - '02
Livejournal: "Today at the grille, a glass cut my hand open. it broke, and while breaking, sliced across my hand and it gushed blood forever. Which couldn't be more perfect, because every 20 seconds I get a big rush of pain from whatever nerve I sliced open, and we have to move on monday and I am going to be in tip-top shape to carry furniture. but i did get to go home from work early and [redacted ex-boyfriend] brought me Quiznos and my favorite drink ever, Diet Air. [It actually doesn't taste that good, but the name is pretty incredible.]"
Amendment: (Always, even then, writing things to make them true.) He was CERTAIN I could get worker's comp! This's the dude that made me go to Wal-Mart instead of Meijers to save five cents on a notebook. Waitresses don't get workman's comp for Chrissake. He was over the wound before it healed, so I broke it back open moving furniture & boxes 'cause he felt the cut was an invalid excuse. What the fuck do you want from me, I asked, bleeding all over the new desk I'd told him was too complicated to put together but he'd insisted on getting anyhow and then making me assemble with my hand wrapped up. Always, even then, I thought he could see me and I wouldn't have to spell it out (showing, not telling).
Look, douchebag, I model through it, I wanted to say. I don't cry over spilled blood. I'm not just whining, that's your job. Instead of saying those things I had an affair. La-la-la.
Then I slipped on the rainy porch. It hadn't been ... sealed, or something? So the rain slid on the wood and so did my feet. Hurrah! Dusted my shoulders off and got in the car to go to work! I can DO IT! HURRAH! GAME ON!
"What the fuck happened to you?" my manager said when I limped in. Isn't that weird, how at first it feels like it'll pass and then it takes over your entire body? My left side felt like it'd been removed from my body, thrown into a meat processor and then stitched back on.
I thought my back was wet from the rain but it was wet with blood. Whoops.
"Go to the ER!" She said.
"But I'm the only to-go person on this shift!" I protested. Restaurant managers never tell you to go home, I've worked under very disgusting conditions before.
I wanted someone to save me or something, I think? I got home with my seat pulled right up to the steering wheel. I couldn't walk up the stairs so I collapsed on the landing and called my boyfriend from there.
He took me to the ER, and was quietly pissed that I'd made him leave work (why did I do that? to prove he was better than the last one? wtf?) to take me there, so then later my Mom came and he went back to work. He'd made me stay in town that summer with no friends, who else was supposed to take me, I thought. I could've waited, I know now.
I had an x-ray, I'd bruised my hip-bone or something. Oddly couldn't move for the rest of the day, then felt miraculously healed two days later when my BF and I were going to Toronto.
Luckily all the Vicodin came in handy later that summer when everything went to shit and I grasped for anything, anything at all, that claimed to kill pain.
In February of 2005 I was run over by a bike messenger on 47th street, his fault. I was too preoccupied by my conviction that he had thirty children in Nigeria to feed to actually care to follow up with his employer. My skim mocha was lost, my soup was salvaged, and I was per ushe convinced it'd be fine and the pain would pass until it didn't. Then as always I walked back to work, even walked up the stairs, and then the swelling literally made my shoe come untied.
Swift-footed Ingrid took me from work to the Metropolitan Hospital emergency room, and sat with me there for eight hours 'til Krista got off work and relieved her. The foot was swollen to twice its regular size, and post X-Ray and uninsured I was refused free painkillers and ordered instead a week of house arrest with "fluffy pillows." That was when I first started calling myself Emily Dickinson. My Cocoon tightens - colors tease- I'm feeling for the Air- a dim capacity for wings -
J & S came over with food, drugs and magazines; British glossies with pull-out photos of skinny girls with large breasts. I applied for internships and took [now vanished] photos of my foot and hopped around while Krista yelled at me for not using the crutches. Krista ran errands for me and Natalie brought me yogurt and Ingrid made me breakfast. I slept a lot. I got the internships, opened a gmail account!, I fixed my life ... I thank the messenger.
As reported on this here blog: "Anyhow, yeah at about three or so, I was moving a box and somehow managed to get my hand caught on this pesky nail and it sliced clean through the skin on the front of my hand between my middle finger and my other finger and it was really intense ... I thought "I wish I knew someone who'd accidentally cut herself with a crack pipe before who could provide emotional support during this trying time," and luckily, I do, so I called her, and she provided said support ..." (read all about it here ) (scar remains, a nice white line. Everyone would yell at me for picking at it) (always, even then, running late and therefore clumsy)
1. Election Legslice - November '08 - Election Legslice
Obviously my most glorious injury of all time was live-blogged on Election Day 2008, as you may recall. I was standing on a flimsy IKEA cabinet to screw in a curtain rod and I fell through the cabinet, thus inspiring a nail to journey straight up my leg. 'Cause I was so excitant about the election results, I forewent suggested journeys to the doctor/hospital/ER and dodged tetnus-related questions. Here's a flashback screenshot:
Always, even now, preferring the story over the shots & stitches.