Learning To Love You More




Assignment #11
Photograph a scar and write about it.

Nerissa Kuebrich
San Francisco, California USA



It all started with a plate of ravioli in upstate New York. At least that's how I remember it. My mom says that it had started weeks earlier when I had what we thought was the flu. She's probably right, but for me, it begins at ravioli.
I wouldn't eat the stuff for years afterward (This is a psychological habit of mine - shelving foods malevolent...chiding them for scheming gastrointestinal rebellion. I've crucified tacos, chocolate pudding, lemonade, and pistachios in the same manner.). I was so convinced that ravioli was the culprit, I didn't again delight in the dish until I was in college. I was nine years old when those floppy pasta squares turned a family vacation into an appendicitis adventure.
We were visiting my Nanny and Papa who lived in Afton, NY. A grocery store, a hardware store, some houses...a hiccup of a town along interstate 88. There wasn't much else to do in Afton, except, well, to have an emergency appendectomy. But not before eating a delicious meal at strip-mall Italian restaurant in the town adjacent. Not an hour after we ate, did I find myself clawing at my middle in a sprint toward the bathroom. I spent the rest of the night and into the morning heave-ho-ing flecks of ravioli, bits of tomatoes, and streams of chocolate milk into the toilet. I kept on ralphing when there was nothing left to ralph. My parents decided it was time to drive me to the emergency room.
The closest hospital was ten miles away and was officially named none other than, "The Hospital." At this point, it all gets a little fuzzy. I remember being the only child in the pediatric ward. I remember barfing mid-X-ray. That memory is probably so clear because it's the first of only two times I've ever barfed standing up (The other instance, which occurred while I was in college, involved lemonade, pure grain alcohol, a pitcher of vomit left under a coffee table, and a loss of pride.). I also remember coming out of anesthesia really annoyed at the lady who kept asking me to count to ten. There was a lot of pain coupled with a lot of attention. There was someone telling me stories about sailboats. There was the get-well card I got from family back in Illinois that played music when you opened it (I still have it).
We're now on neutral territory, me and ravioli, but I have a constant reminder of our fierce battle in the form of a two-inch white line on my lower right abdomen.