25 May 2011

scar stories.

a little over a year ago, my fiction workshop instructor asked everyone in the room to tell a "scar story," because that's how she remembers people - by the stories they tell about scars they got sometime in life (i mean physical ones, not vague, figurative scars).  my dilemma in this request was that i didn't know which scar to talk about.

for the longest time i never ever wore shorts if i could help it.  i was always way too embarrassed of my legs because i thought they were always scarred and gross-looking.  i got over that pretty quickly, and now i usually laugh at how ridiculous my legs look.  i've got years worth of dark lines and spots everywhere (each with a less-than-impressive story), and the mysterious perpetual bruises from last fall are back on my left leg.  i think that somewhere in my bike-commuting routine i must hit that same spot every day, but for the life of my i can't ever think to pay attention to when it happens.

when i was a kid i got a lot of nicknames from my parents.  the more notable ones were based on my appearance at the time.  one of them was mowgli.  as in, raised-by-wild-animals jungle kid.


i don't really remember being called by this name, but it's the funniest to think about (the grace of two thousand miles prevents me from being able to post pictures for comparison).  because when i picture myself as a child in my head, i see this insanely awkward kid with a wild mop of hair and scarred, skinny chicken legs who definitely climbed up the stairs with feet AND hands as if i were some kind of animal.

i think i'm probably just as mowgli-like as i was then.  still got the awkwardness.  every so often the hair gets wild again.  the legs are decidedly less chicken-like but just as scarred.  i have no stairs in my house, so we can't really test that last part out.  but if i had the chance, i'd probably parade around dancing to jazz tunes and forget that there's an angry tiger out there who wants to eat me.

for the sake of the title of this post, my most recent scars were both acquired on my left hand from burns.  the first came from boiling spaghetti sauce, and the genius in me decided the best way to get it off my hand was to lick it off.  so i had a burned hand AND a burned tongue.  the second came because i wasn't paying attention and let my hand rest against a hot skillet.

it's okay to like cooking, and sometimes it's forgivable to be stupid.  but if you're stupid while cooking, you'll have multiple reminders of that fact for the rest of your life.

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