On my right-hand ring finger, though it is faint from its ten years of healing, there is a light circle on my upper knuckle. My college dorm neighbor offered to cook me dinner one night if I promised to wash the dishes afterwards. He cooked delectable stuffed shells, my first real encounter with handmade Italian food, for he was a student of the culinary arts (though his major was Linguistics). And they were delicious pillows of heaven as they erupted in my mouth and slid warmly down my throat. Once my plate was emptied (and filled and emptied again), I kept my promise and dunked my hands in his sink of soapy water. As I ran the washcloth over the blade of his chef’s knife, unaware of how sharp a chef keeps his knife, I felt a quick twinge. I froze. Blood began to pour from my hand. Without a word, soap still dropping from my elbows, I disappeared out his door and then vanished behind my own. I wrapped a thick paper towel over my finger while I dialed my mother. My friend, unaware in his dorm, recognized my absence, picked up the knife, saw a piece of my finger dangling from it, and instinctively dropped it back into the depths of the dish water.
While now I fancy myself educated in the use and care of cutlery, I still often slice skin that seems to get in the way of my chopping. My husband stays close by as I cut up vegetables for dinner, first-aid kit in hand just in case.
Get it? It's Scar. I'm talking about scars.
Coincidentally, another scar of mine is the result of a kitchen mishap. My boyfriend (now husband) and I had moved in together, and in an effort of domestication, I took up baking, for what makes a house smell like a home more than something baking in the oven? Yet I was an efficient baker, and I would be damned if I was going to bake one tray of cookies at a time. I had two cookie sheets to fill, and so I filled them simultaneously. The recipe said to rotate the sheets halfway through the baking time, so when the timer went off, I grabbed the top sheet with one gloved hand and the bottom with another. Somehow in the synchronal maneuver, I tapped the inside of my right bicep with the left-hand cookie tray and seared a long line across my arm. The cookies remained on the tray and arrived safely back in the oven to finish baking.
The pain lasted five minutes. The scar lasted five years. And when it finally disappeared, I got the bright idea to bake cookies again, which resulted in another scar of the exact nature, created in the exact same way.
I have many scars, which serve as reminders of my stupidity. For how else do we get scars than by making mistakes? Unfortunately, I never seem to learn from those mistakes.
Set your timer and write about your scars. What kind of scars do you have? Where did they come from? Are they a badge of honor or a reminder of stupidity? Leave your musings in the comments below!