Learning To Love You More




Assignment #11
Photograph a scar and write about it.

Sam McPheeters
Pomona, California USA



This scar is from June or July 1981. I can date it only because the injury happily released me from all physical duties at summer camp that year. Much of childhood seems to be spent mastering the sharp corners of bodily physics, the range of self-discovery that starts with funny bones and ice cream headaches and continues into adulthood with panic attacks and false pregnancies. This particular scar is all about the law of physics that says one cannot slam a door by placing their hand on the glass pane and pushing really hard. Live and learn.  When some neighbors came running across the street, I tried to convince them, crying and bleeding, that everything was “under control”. Where had I picked up that adult phrase? The cut only took five wide stitches and a shot of something called "Xylocaine". I'm not sure if I invented this mystery drug after the fact. It sounds like the kind of geeky word-play a 12 year old who just been to the dentist would invent.
Here's another thing I'm not sure if I fabricated on not; my promise never to ride a motorcycle. On the gurney next to me sat a guy who'd just flipped his chopper on interstate 787. I don't think he'd been badly hurt. But in my memory, the scene has been inflated and distorted so that I now recall a slab of faceless, croaking human meatloaf flopping onto his side and forcing my vow to never set foot on any motorcycle, ever. I don't think people should be allowed to emotionally manipulate you like that.
The photo I've included is a close up of my hand because I don't want anyone to read my palm and send me the results.