I have a huge scar on the side of my left asscheek. To this day, I get looks in a swimsuit, to the point where I've made up several funny anecdotes, tragic shark incident being my favorite. When I was in second grade, I had surgery to remove a mole on my left hip/thigh, a mole for which the clinical name was a "hairy nevis." Let's all laugh together, yes?

The mole had been there since birth, dark brown, oblong, growing with me. To doctors, it posed a pre-cancer risk not worth screwing with in a seven or eight-year old kid, and therefore it had to go. I remember the weirdest mix of indifference, trepidation, and elation (mostly because it would get me out of running the mile for spring P.E. evals...). Surgery was uneventful, a three-inch wide, three-inch deep incision with like a hundred stitches. My mom brought popsicles and "Beethoven" the movie to me after I woke up, and I wound down my second-grade spring with a slight limp and a get-out-of-gym-free pass. 

One day, before my stitches had really entirely healed, I went to my friend Katelyn's house to play and have dinner and a sleepover. In all my innocent stupidity, I thought for some reason that playing Frisbee outside with Katelyn, her little brothers, and the neighbor kids was an acceptable activity, despite my sedentary weeks. I was living the dream: running, catching, jumping around like all the other kids. Before I knew it, though, my cobalt-blue shorts and white, daisy-printed t-shirt (I still remember the entire outfit) were both bloodstained from my hip all the way down to my knee and up to my armpit. Turns out I had fallen down and, in doing so, burst open the nearly-healed wound. The sight that greeted me has stayed with me's the first time I ever remember gore making me nauseous. 

My mom rushed me to the E.R., where my stitches were replaced and I was sternly reprimanded by the doctor on duty (as well as my mom). Sobbing hysterically, more out of embarrassment than pain or fear, I begged for forgiveness, for it to go away and be okay. The doctor let me know that the area that had burst would forever be a lumpier, more prominent scar than if the incision had healed uninterrupted. And to this day, it is...tight, twisted, raised and off-putting to the point where I don't like looking at or touching it. 

Now let's all make a trite little metaphor together. The wound is really my heart and the stitches are really my healing process and the Frisbee fall is finding out that the person I love/loved/love has already moved on. And all that scar tissue that I've built up so carefully has just exploded. Problem is there's not really a doctor on hand here to stitch me back up and give me grief, and there's not even a get-out-of-gym-free pass in this circus of cheating and lies. Mostly I just feel like that sad little second grader, dismayed as I look down to see the bloodstain oozing across the Gap Kids t-shirt, turning the turquoise daisies rust-colored. And I feel like I'm back at square one: embarrassed and nauseous and so, so sorry.