When I was about 7, I ran with a bunch of little neighborhood jerks and we were all pretty awful, because this was Montana and there’s not much to do there except look at cows and maybe do meth when you get older. My friends and I had a treehouse in the woods, and to discourage the “nerdy” kids from approaching our fort, we created a series of janky traps in the tall grass surrounding our stronghold. Because I was an idiot in addition to being a jerk, I immediately forgot where all the traps were. One evening on my way home, I fell straight into a cluster of barbed wire, tearing an deep, inch-long gash in my leg. As I was limping away, blood trickling down my leg, I fell into another trap and tore my ankle open. They both left long, shiny scars.
About 2 years ago I stuck my finger in an immersion blender. I was trying to make Momofuko’s compost cookies for the holidays and I didn’t have a real mixer so I used the stick blender. A piece of chunky dough got caught and the blade stopped. I stuck my left index finger in to clear the jam — but I didn’t turn off the blender. As soon as the obstruction cleared the blade swung around and blood was everywhere. I got 8 stitches and had trouble typing for quite awhile. My finger tip still gets weirdly numb when its cold.
I have a scar on my arm from after the 2012 World Series. There were crazy celebratory riots in San Francisco and I got hit with rubber from an exploding recycling bin. It’s a huge scar, but it’s a souvenir.
I have a little faded brown dot on my left ring finger from a splinter I got when I was 4 that I was too scared to take out. There’s literally a tiny piece of wood chillin’ in there because my grandma kept coming at me with a needle and I was like, “Bitch, no.”
I was working at a pizza place and got my younger sister’s friend a job. On his first day, less than an hour into his shift, this little punk drops a a pizza (pineapple and ham) on my leg right out of the oven, giving me second degree burns. To this day, I still have the scar on my ankle and can’t eat pineapple and ham pizza.
When I was 13 or so I was sitting on my bed sketching. Hours later when I crawled into bed, I felt a really, really sharp pain in my leg right above my left knee. I jumped out of bed to find that the pencil I’d been drawing with was sticking out of my leg. The scar I have is small, round, and permanently grey - colored by the lead I think.
During my freshman year of college, I lived in a town house that had a pretty steep driveway. One night after my friends and I went to dinner, I got out of the car at my house and backed up to let my friend out of the back seat. In doing so, I fell off said steep driveway into a ditch, and when I went to move my leg, my foot limped to the left while my ankle bone protruded towards the right. I screamed, and when the ambulance came, they forgot how to open the stretcher. They then injected me with a shit ton of morphine and when I got to the hospital, I had sunglasses on and was singing “Ay Bay Bay” through the halls. I now have a metal plate and two screws in my ankle and a scar that looks like a cross (which my Jewish aunt yelled at me for, as if I could control it).
I got the scar by my right eye when I was three years old and my father kicked me in the head with an ice skate. Accidentally, it should be noted. We were out on a frozen pond, where my sister had just explained to me that the water wasn’t completely solid and a thin layer of ice was all that stood between me and a bunch of incredibly cold water that would kill me pretty much on contact.
Trying to get me to leave the shore, my father convinced me that the sled I was holding would act as a boat if the ice cracked (a blatant lie that is still to this day one of my favorite memories). Once I was safe on my boat-sled, my father pulled me around the pond. As I squealed and clapped, he skated faster and faster, until, as my father recalls, his “foot felt like it had kicked a rather hard watermelon.”
My parents rushed me to the hospital in their old rusted-out Toyota truck. According to my mother, I didn’t cry, but sang Christmas carols as copious amounts of blood ran down my face (“It was creepy,” she would later tell me). In fact, I was apparently on my best behavior until I saw the doctor take out his needle to give me stitches, at which point I ran out of the hospital room and down the hall, trailing blood the entire way.
[name withheld due to ongoing lawsuit]
I live in Brooklyn and work in Manhattan. I was on a kick where I’d bike the five miles to and from work, and unfortunately biking through Manhattan in the dark isn’t for the weak of heart. I was riding home from work one night when a large van decided to make a left turn directly into the only body I have. Which was rude.
I was sure that I was dying, but when that was ruled out, I noticed the throbbing pain in my arm. In the ambulance they told me definitively that it was broken, and that’s when I passed out. Not from the pain - from the confirmation.
Anyway the bone was fractured in a way that required surgery to install a steel plate, so now I’ve got a gnarly scar going right through my wrist tattoo.
My old roommate in Berkeley worked at a bakery, which meant he was always bringing home giant loaves of fresh bread. It was the best and also the worst. One night after taking an Ambien, I woke up suddenly at 3 a.m. craving sourdough. In my semi-lucid state I made it to the kitchen and grabbed the biggest serrated bread knife I could find to cut myself a slice. I immediately mistook the tip of my index finger for bread and ended up bleeding profusely, not quite sure if I was asleep or awake. Panicked, I woke up my roommate who assured me that a) I wasn’t dreaming, and b) my finger wouldn’t scar. It did.
It was a hot spring day and this frat at school set up a giant tarp to make into a slip n’ slide down their hill. I was sliding down the hill when there must have been a hole in the tarp and when I stood up there was a small stick in my leg. It had punctured me. I took it out and I was bleeding like crazy. I went to the doctor at somepoint and couldn’t really walk on my left leg for days. Now it’s a cute little purple scar that feels soft to the touch. I love it.
When I was 10 or so, I found a piece of elastic cord caught in corner of my dresser, probably from an old pair of basketball shorts. I don’t know how it got caught, but being the idiot child I was, I decided to grab either end of the cord and pull it toward my face. It stretched and then sprang loose, snapping toward my face and striking me directly across both open eyeballs. Nothing has ever hurt to badly, no even when Firefly was cancelled.
I stayed home from school and screamed literally all day, and couldn’t fully open my eyes for the rest of the week. After that, my vision was permanently blurry. Months later my fourth grade teacher noticed I was squinting at the chalkboard and recommended I go to an eye doctor. The doctor examined me and said, “What happened to you? You have corneal scars.” I got some cool orange glasses that day.
I have a scar on my chest right near my throat because one night in college after a few drinks, I put my index finger to my forehead, dropped into a power stance, and charged at a group of friends screaming “RHINO ATTACK!” and my roommate’s three-legged dog named Tripper, who hated violence, attacked me and tried to bite my throat, but only managed to get my chest.
I have these two dark red scars on my elbows because I jumped off my neighbor’s two-story roof as a child after I saw Mary Poppins with an umbrella, expecting that I would fly.
I did not.
One time I tore my heart open, and sewed myself shut. My weakness is that I care too much. My scars remind me that the past is real. I tore my heart open just to feel. Lesson learned, I guess!
(OK, Tanya, that’s a Papa Roach song.)