Sunday, 13 March 2011
Scars can come in handy. I have one myself above my left knee that is a perfect map of the London Underground.
It seems weird to say it now because of my manic evangelism, but I was thoroughly uninterested in Harry Potter for the longest time. I don’t even remember why, really; all I know is if someone had told me the entire series revolved around a lightning bolt-shaped scar, I would have been at the bookstore faster than you can say sneezewort. I love scars. I love them. Scars make people fifty-eleven billion times more attractive to me. I don’t care if it’s from chicken pox or a bear attack.
You could probably unpack it a dozen different ways, from The Odyssey to Lord of the Flies, but probably I am drawn to visible imperfection because I am so deeply flawed. Also, I just think scars are sexy. Yvonne Strahovski has a scar on her forehead that you can only see in HD and it drives me to distraction. Eve Myles has a scar on her chin, and same thing. There’s a scene in the fourth series of Skins where Freddie traces a scar on Effy’s forehead in the fading sunlight and it’s all silhouetted and ethereal, and I don’t even care how heavy handed it is, it steals my breath every time. Every single time.
If I catalogued all my scars, it would take a whole entire year. Bike wrecks, softball accidents, RUNNING WITH HEDGE CLIPPERS, but my very most favorite scar is on my right shin. It’s two inches long and an inch wide and it’s really deep too. I mean, this is really gross and you probably shouldn’t read it, but you could actually see my the white bone part of my shin when it happened. And this is how it happened:
When I was in high school, I had a chip on my shoulder the size of Gibraltar, and a vicious, insecure little demon lived inside that rock and I exercised him and fed him and kept him growing and gnawing by playing basketball. It was very much an anything-you-can-do-I-can-do-better situation, and it extended to weight training and plyometrics and practice with the boys. One humid summer afternoon, we were cross-training with the guys when the boys’ coach brought out these plywood boxes. The girls were meant to jump on the ones that were one tiny foot tall, and the boys were meant to jump on the ones that were two or three feet tall. Also, there was a four foot tall box, but it was only intended for a dude named Andy who could jump to the rafters like Spider-Man. But I was me, and me was horrible, and so I was like, “Uh, I can jump on the high one too.”
Everyone had a laugh like they didn’t even know me, and when Andy cleared the box with a running start, I cleared the box, too. When Andy cleared the box with two layup steps, I cleared the box, too. When Andy cleared the box with a stutter jump, I cleared the box, too. When Andy cleared the box flat-footed, I did not. I missed by exactly one foot, and I know it was exactly one foot because I measured it just now; it’s the distance from my shin-scar to my heal.
It was kind of horrible. It kind of swelled up to the size of a softball. I kind of couldn’t even walk. Jenn was like, “What in the hell were you thinking?” when she patched me up that night, and even now when I have my legs draped across her lap, she’ll run her finger over that thing and shake her head like she did when we were kids.
People like to talk about scars as symbols of survival. Or bravery. I like to talk about my scars like Amazing Grace. Only instead of being found, it’s about being a twat. Through many dangers, toils and snares, I have already come! Was twattery that brought me safe thus far, and twattery shall lead me on!
Posted by Heather Anne Hogan at 10:05 pm