I do enjoy summer. Mostly because of the girls and their lack of clothing, but it’s also the time people seem happiest. I can’t believe it sometimes. It’s at least 95º in Austin on any given day during the summer. How can people stand it?! Sometimes I think it might be worth living in a different state… but then I remember I fucking love Texas. [pew pew pew]
Anyway, today, I was driving around the ole town taking care of some errands–meth deal, meeting my daily hour of drinking and driving quota, and going to the bank. As I was driving I kept tapping this skin on the side of my knee. I always touch it. It’s a smooth little patch. There’s no real hair on it. It’s a scar–a sorta gnarly one. Anyway, I kept trying to think of all of the scars I had on my body:
Left kneecap, 7: I hated slide tackling when I was a kid. My dad thought I was a “pussy” or something. He never said it, but I knew he thought it. I could see it in his eyes. Anyway, to prove a point I slid into a kid. The fields we played in were sort of run down. (If you know anything about Houston, the parks on Chimney Rock and Gulfton was where I used to play. Dried Mud City.) Lost a lot of skin that day. Worth it.
Side of right knee, 10: I had this cousin that was an absolute terror growing up. I was two years older than this kid, but I was afraid of him. He seemed to be able to defy parents like no one else I knew. “Nah, I’m going to go over here and throw rocks at windows. BRB.” Manuelito was a handful, but he was also my favorite cousin. We were a bit of an odd couple. This scar came from a grill that sat out on their patio. As I was running by to punch the ever-loving shit out of Manuelito, I scraped my knee pretty bad. Lots of picking at it and neglect later, I have this pretty rad scar on my right knee.
There are several on my knees that I can’t really account for yet.
Right hand, sorta everywhere, 13: Teenage angst. Those dishes never saw it coming.
Stomach, 17: Senior year was a pretty rad. The band had gotten back together. I had an awesome girlfriend, but something terrible happened in February. APPENDICITIS! I didn’t show up to school that day. I had a show that day, but I was MIA. Sarah was losing her shit. I finally got hold of a phone at the hospital and half-awake called Jason to tell him I wouldn’t be playing that night… or any night soon. Emergency surgery, boi. Shit got real, real quick. (Also, this is the semester of my addiction to Codine. Shh! Don’t tell anyone.)
Left eye-lid, 17: I got punched in the fucking face! It was an accident, of course. I mean, who would ever want to punch me? In the face? Seriously. I’m so charming! Right, guys?! Right?! No Way Drive just got done playing a set and I was watching some band that didn’t even remotely sound like us play after. A couple of hardcore dancers were doing their thing in front of me. All of a sudden, out of no where, WHAP! Right in the eye! OWOWOWOWOW! I was so shocked. I tried to hide it from my mom. Can’t really hide a black eye. It took a lot of convincing of my mother that playing guitar in a punk band was less violent than playing tackle for my high school. In certain cases, they can be equally as violent.
Nose, 5?: I’ve got this really cool speck. It was an old chicken pox growth that I just popped off as a kid. Gross. I know.
I had a really good time remembering where all of these scars came from. I thought about how good/bad of a human being I was at that time. I had to think about the people that I pushed out of my memory. I had to think of charming beginnings and unpleasant, awkward endings. I don’t like to do that usually, but it helps you remember who you are. You need perspective. We sometimes get caught up in our youth and the wealth possibilities that lie ahead of us. We almost feel invincible. But scars remind us that we aren’t. We’re vulnerable collections of tissue. We’re frail. Scars also remind us that we’ve thrown caution to the wind and gone for it. We’ve reached for something, lived something. Even though the consequences may have been a bit of disfigurement. Those things (mis)shape us.