Friday, June 4, 2010

I had a plastic surgeon stitch me up when I was two years old.

I told you about the stitches to the head that I got when I was eight, but as I said that was my third accident that required stitches. My first stitches-requiring accident occurred several years previous at age two. I was a toddler, rambunctious in the way all children in their terrible twos are, and since I was only a toddler I didn't have a strong ability to reason out that something was a bad idea.

It started out like any other day, I guess. My memories are vague. I remember taking a bath. I remember the smell of baby shampoo and splashing water. I remember my mom pulling me out of the tub and wrapping me in the long, fluffy towel. I think it was red.

My mother turned her back to me for a moment to pull the plug so the water could drain. She only turned her back for seconds, and in that little speck of time where she wasn't watching me, I decided to run away from her, like it was a game. I giggled and took off.

But I didn't succeed in my plan. The towel was too long, wrapped around my legs and hampered me, but I persisted in running. The towel tripped me, I launched forward towards the bi-fold bathroom doors. It was really a freak accident, and unfortunate circumstance that should have ended with me falling onto the bathroom floor, but none the worse for wear.

But it never ends that way. The way I fell was a perfect line up with the bathroom door, and the bi-fold wood snapped closed as I fell on it. It snapped shut as my face made contact, cutting into my top lip on my right.

Deep. I remember the pain, sharp and angry and searing. I remember the blood, also red and dark and it smelled bad. I remember I screamed, loud and hurt wails that only a truly pained baby could possibly make, and my mother's screams joined mine, almost covering them in their adult volume.

I don't remember going to the hospital, I don't even remember if both of my parents were there. My mom said that while we were signed in at the ER on the base, a Doctor happened to be walking by. Not just any Doctor, a plastic surgeon, a perfectionist. She said he insisted that he stitch me up.

He insisted a regular surgeon wouldn't care about leaving a scar, and I was so young, such a pretty little baby girl, that he didn't want my face to be scarred, so he stitched me up and told my parents that any scarring that occurred would be unnoticeable, and would probably go away by the time I was eighteen.

There is a small scar on my top right lip, small and invisible to the naked human eye. Nobody notices it to this day, even when I tell them it's there and point it out to them. They have to get really close, stare at it before they actually see it. I don't even see it anymore when I look in the mirror. Sometimes I remember it, and I look for it, but it's just a small, invisible white line on my white face, a flaw that doesn't seem to be a flaw. It used to be the first thing I saw when I looked at my reflection. Now, I forget it exists.

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