Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Ouch (Mia Cicatrice Non Guariscono Per Sempre)

Recently I was chipping dried mortar off the back of a small mosaic piece so I could reset it somewhere else. The chipping off was going great with a sharp new hammer (recently purchased from the Tabularasa company in Italy).

As I held the piece in my left hand, I struck for about the fifth time, but forgot to take into account that the mortar had a 'rubberized' additive in it. So, it was more of a glancing blow off the piece which allowed the sharp pointy carbide end of the hammer to nestle deeply in my left thumb.

Oh, the words I said when this happened... as much because of my stupid carelessness as for the actual pain. I can take quite a bit of pain, but this was absolutely 'stub 15 toes at one time' excruciating.

After wrapping it in a cold paper towel and applying pressure, the blood finally stopped. Without stiches, I now have a scar that still hurts a bit when I apply pressure in a wrong direction.

Scars can be a good metaphor for what happens in life sometimes. It made me think of a girl I knew when I was in my second year of high school, Lauren. We had been going out for about 4 months which was forever for a high school kid. She was beautiful with long black hair and bright green eyes, and possibly one of the smartest and nicest girls I knew. Summer nights at the waterpark, autumn mornings at band camp (no jokes), with so many common interests it was all perfect.

One November afternoon sitting around the dining table with sunlight streaming in the window, my father told us all that we'd be moving from Dallas to the middle of nowhere (west of Ft. Worth) to help my grandfather drill oil wells. Being a quick lad, I immediately calculated the impact of this catacalysmic event to my situation with Lauren with the lightning like efficiency of at least 100 Commodore 64 computers.

The days which followed were filled with a wistfulness that is hard to describe. As a final gesture, I bought her a jewelry piece the likes of which my 16 year old's allowance savings could just barely manage. It was 20F outside and ice and snow everywhere, but I walked it over to her house located about three miles away as a last Christmas present. All of my extremities were numb, even my soul. I understand why she was sad, but I was surprised to see her mom cry about it.
To this day, that scar still hurts if I move it the wrong way.


  1. That is really sweet! Seriously, young love. I know it's impossible to read this comment without thinking "sarcastic wench!" but I'm serious. Awww.

    In other news, my mom flew to Venice today. I asked her to say hi from you, hope that's ok? :)

  2. P.S. OUCHY on your thumb. I winced.

  3. This is my favorite post of yours, ever.

  4. Or, you know, most favorite. Same difference.

  5. thanks for your comment. i will try more cards in the next months.

  6. Yeah, this was a lovely post. More like this wouldn't go astray. Not that I dislike your mosaic posts, mind.

  7. Wounds of the heart can be much more painful than physical ones. I had a similar "tragedy" in my teens, the feeling that the person you like is THE one, and that nobody else could ever take her/his place, that we are going to die if we can't be with that person; the heart can hurt so so bad ... too many movies maybe, or are all teens somewhat fatalist?? I remember as a young woman wanting to keep everything so pure and perfect ... boy, things change, not that I feel impure :), but nothing's perfect for sure.

  8. Young love is always very intense.....ahhhh

    I am sending some adult supervision.

    A commodore 64 metaphor. That's a first for me and a better use of it than the hours spent playing Petch on it in my youth.

  9. Put a plaster on that injury!

  10. Vegetable Assassin,
    Thanks, did you ever see the 'Kids in the Hall' episode where Dave Foley could only talk sarcastically? Well I don't for just one minute would *ever* believe that you were being sarcastic with your comment. :)

    Yes, have your mother visit the Orsoni factory in Venice and say hi to my friends Mirta and Antonella. And send me pictures!!!

    Well thanks, your posts 'put it out there' in a great way on a regular basis. To a degree, I was thinking of your writing style while doing this one.

    I can't wait to see those! ps - I need to make some phone calls to some gardens...

    Noted, and I'll try for more of these.

    You are right, they are so much more painful. But they are different, and I would rather risk that kind of hurt a thousand times than not feeling anything at all.
    Nothing is perfect, but sometimes we get close :)

    It's all kind of intense. :) Or, maybe I just never grew up that way. In any case the supervision is advisable, thanks.
    Petch was a-maze-ing.

    A Daft Scots Lass,
    Which of the two injuries should I put the plaster on?

  11. wait, wait, waaaaait. you have HOW MANY TOES???

    also, i agree about scars. they're very important and i know each one of mine and their stories very well.

  12. Yowsa! That sounds painful. Both parts. Sometimes it's easy to mourn what could've been. Look her up..what are you waiting for???

  13. mylittlebecky,
    I have ten toes, but when I'm a pawn to hyperbole, I sometimes have upward of thirty...
    Yes, you and your scars make absolutely fabulous reading, because I feel it as you describe. Very dark sometimes, but also quite compelling! I hope you never stop writing.

    Yes, as Nabi310 above said, the non-physical hurts way more than the physical pain sometimes. But on the subject of ancient high school history, maybe I should look Lauren up and see how life has turned out for her. :)