I was in first grade and I loved going to gymnastics.
The clock in the living room was one I couldn’t read. It was brown with gold numbers and arms and took up half the wall the TV was against. The TV that showed cartoons that I was engrossed in. I was six years old and I loved going to gymnastics. Mama and Papa were both at work and my big sister (by 7 years) would have to take me. She was in the kitchen doing her homework and listening to music. I wanted to make sure she didn’t forget to take me to gymnastics.
A door separated the kitchen hallway from the dining room which opened into the living room I sat in watching cartoons beneath the big brown clock I couldn’t read. I tried pushing the door open but it sometimes stuck- and this was one of those time. I tried shouting through the door to ask what time it was, but the music was too loud. I tried knocking on the door to get Sister’s attention, but I apparently couldn’t knock hard enough.
I tried sitting back down on the rough forest green couch to watch cartoons and wait. But I really wanted to know what time it was and how much longer before we’d leave for gymnastics especially since Sister wasn’t fond of having to take care of me, having to take me places. I didn’t want her to forget to take me.
I went back to the door and peered thru one of its many windows to see if I could maybe catch a glimpse of her but all I could see was the doorway into the bathroom and the yellow and black tiles on the back wall of the house. I tried pushing the door open again. Nothing. I tried knocking on the door again. Nothing.
I took several steps back and ran toward the door, hoping my force would push open the stuck door. But instead of pushing on the wood panel of the door, my hand landed in one of the little windows.
My hand went thru the window.
Glass sprayed the linoleum floor.
“What the hell?!” Sister screamed from around the corner.
I was horrified and scared. Sister was always such a bitch to me, she was going to flip out even more when she saw what I just did. I pulled my hand back and blood started dripping everywhere.
Thick red blood... oozing out of my hand... making a puddle on the brown carpet.
I started to scream and Sister finally appeared at the doorway. She pulled me toward her and moved me into the bathroom and told me to sit on the closed toilet. She stepped into the hallway and reached for the yellow rotary phone on the wall and dialed some numbers.
The blood poured out of my hand.
She hung up the phone, picked me up and carried me next door, passing my laughing brother on the way while leaving a trail of blood drops from our house to the neighbors.
I can’t remember much more other than holding my hand over the open toilet at the neighbor’s house. Then I recall see my mom coming toward me in the hospital. She had her mouth covered with her hands and looked like she was crying.
I couldn’t sleep that night because the pain was unbearable. My hand was wrapped a million times in white bandages. I couldn’t see the damage but the pain… there was so much throbbing and it was just and so unbearable.
I still have the scars from that incident which happened well over 30 years ago! The cut on the ring finger of my right hand was so severe (due to pulling my hand back!), they nearly amputated. Instead, I can barely pull it back. The scar has always reminded me of a lizard of sorts so I started referring to it as Kermit. There are also two more scars, much smaller in size but still quite visible, on my forefinger and another on my thumb.
I never did get to go to gymnastics that day.