11 May 2011

Big Toe in the Coke Bottle

Years ago, I acquired a list of prompts for writing one's life story. I do not have the URL or have any clue where it came from.

Write about a scar that you have. How did you get it?

The scar is about an inch long, a little lighter than the rest of my skin, and sort of jagged.

When I was a little girl, my little brothers and my little sister and I used to visit with our cousins, to play and to spend the night, on a regular basis. Playing ball in their backyard was something that we enjoyed doing.

On this particular day, there was a Coca-Cola bottle in the yard in the way of our game. This was back in the day when ALL Coca-Cola bottles were made of glass, the green kind as I recall.

One of my brothers picked up the bottle and threw it in the general direction of the garage. It hit the garage wall, broke, and landed behind the glider. We went on with the game.

I was playing in the outfield. The ball came in my direction. I have never been a catcher, always afraid that the ball would smack me in the face, so the ball went right by me and landed behind the glider. We'd been playing for awhile, long enough for a little kid to forget about the broken bottle.

I went running behind the glider and suddenly remembered the bottle and commenced to screaming my head off. It had broken to a nice big point and it was inside my big toe.

I hobbled over to the back steps and up to the top step and looked at what had happened. There was blood gushing everywhere and I was pretty sure that I could see China through the flesh. It looked very deep to me.

I went in through the back door, across the back porch, through the kitchen, into my aunt's living room, where my mama was talking to my aunt. Then, we walked back through the living room, the kitchen, the back porch into the bathroom where my uncle was shaving. He handed us a washcloth to cover my boo-boo. We went back through the house, out the front door, across the porch, and got into the car. At this point, I don't know if it was my parents' car or my aunt's car.

I remember sitting right up beside my mama across town to the emergency room. I was crying and worrying about what the people in the passing cars were thinking. Mama said not to worry about what they were thinking.

We got to the ER and they intended to put stitches in my toe. I was screaming bloody murder. I had never had stitches before (that I know of) but I knew it couldn't be good. Granny put stitches in her quilts, and that involved needles, and my foot was not fabric. "Pain!" and "I need to run!" crossed through my mind, but not fast enough to avoid the kid catchers.

They caught me and wouldn't even let my mama be in there with me. I was so upset. I still find it very upsetting to deny a scared, injured child the comfort of a parent on such an occasion as first stitches. I got four stitches.

The removal of those stitches is something that I won't soon forget, either. They hurt going in, so in my little kid mind, that meant they would hurt coming out. I went into that appointment screaming from the get-go. They held me down and started removing them and, believe it or not, I started laughing. It actually tickled to have them removed.

That has been nearly forty years ago and my foot still cringes when I think of that pointy Coke bottle and it still tickles when I think of those stitches being pulled out.

I still prefer glass bottles over plastic.
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