While it’s easy for me to blame Shadow for pulling too hard on the lease, or the city of Worcester for the horribly uneven and/or crumblng sidewalks in our neighborhood, I really have no one to blame but my klutzy self.
The first time I tripped, I severely bruised my ribs on my left side. That took quite a while to heal, but heal it ultimately did. The second time I took a spill, I landed face first onto the cement. My face was a mess (as the image on the right clearly reveals), but at least nothing was broken and no serious damage done. Or so I thought.I never claimed that there was anything particularly special about my appearance, although back in the day I used to consider myself to be a “decent enough” looking guy. You know. At least average, maybe just a little above average.
On the plus side, I was tall, just over six feet, and when you consider that my father was only 5’3” and my mother barely made it to 5’, that was quite an accomplishment. I boasted an abundance of thick, wavy brown hair, clear blue eyes, and a classic nose...not too big, not too small.
And so, despite some minus-side ledger items, like being small-boned, having chicken legs, thin arms...I was so skinny that my best friend’s father used to call me “string bean”...and having to wear glasses or contacts over my clear blue eyes in order to clearly see anything further away than a couple of feet from my face, I managed.
Now that I’m a senior citizen, however, I have to admit that I haven’t aged particularly gracefully. What was once a mane of thick, brown, wavy hair is mostly gone, and the little that remains is gray. I have hair growing in places that it never did before and shouldn’t, and not growing in places that it used to and should. I still have chicken legs and thin arms and I still need glasses to see clearly. But now I’m sort of soft around the middle, I’m shrinking, I slouch, and have these strange, random growths popping up all over my body.
And now I also have these nasty scars on my face and forehead.
Time heals all wounds
...or does it? It’s been just over six weeks since the second incident and all of the many scabs on my hands, fingers, knees, and face have fallen off. But I have been left with these big, ugly, and apparently permanent scars on my forehead and the bridge of my nose.
They say that scars can add character to one’s face. Harrison Ford, for example, has a noticeable scar on his chin that he got in a car accident. Michael K. Williams (Omar from The Wire) has a large scar on his forehead and cheek from a bar room brawl. Joaquin Phoenix has one on his upper lip. Even Tina Fey has one on her chin that goes up across her cheek.
I honestly don’t know whether these scars actually add character to the faces of these actors. But I am not an actor and I don’t particularly feel the need to add character to my face through scars.
In fact, I will admit to being a bit self-conscious about my recently acquired scar-face. When other people look at me, I can see their eyes scanning my scarred forehead and the bridge of my nose and can imagine them wondering to themselves, “What the fuck happened to his face?” while being too polite to ask.
And what would I say if they did ask me? That I tripped one night while walking our dog and fell flat on my face onto a cement sidewalk? Hell no. I’d make something up.
I was the victim of a mugging. I was in a near-fatal car crash. I took a nasty spill on a motorcycle and wasn’t wearing a helmet. I got them during a scuffle on the ice back in my pro hockey days. They’re from old war wounds I got in Vietnam. There was this nasty bar room brawl...and you should have seen the other guy!
But wait. I just noticed how much the scar on my forehead bears an uncanny resemblance to the head of a golf club. Perhaps, if asked how I got that scar, I should claim that I was hit in the head by a flying 3-wood. Yeah, that’s the ticket!
But tripping while walking the dog? Seriously, no way.