“Ouch! That’s going to leave a mark!” I thought to myself as the sting on my forehead was followed by a brush of cool air on the cut.
It’s 3 AM Saturday morning. I had already turned off the bathroom light but instinctively I’m already reaching into the top drawer of the vanity. I don’t know how many people actually have an emergency tube of Neosporin in the top drawer of the vanity, but we do.
I squeeze the ointment onto my finger, and then rub it across the ‘nick’ on my forehead. I chuckle to myself as I’ve reached for that tube so many times I can literally do it in the dark.
When I woke up and caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror, I was mortified.
“SWEET MOTHER OF GOD!” I yelled loud enough for Leigh, who was downstairs in the kitchen, to look out the back of our home to see what I could possibly be shrieking at.
“Look at that!” I said to myself, leaning into my shaving mirror as if a closer look would somehow reveal it wasn’t as bad at a distance of two inches as it looked from two feet away. Using a wet Kleenex tissue I began wiping away the dried blood to reveal a veritable Grand Canyon-esque sized gash on my forehead.
“This looks terrible! Do I cover it? Or leave it open? What are people going to think?”
Then my plans for the upcoming day flashed before my eyes – Saturday morning coffee group, gym workout, date night, Superbowl;
“Will they think I fell down drunk? Or in a bar fight? Or slapped? Or maybe I’m just an idiot who can’t control himself? What should I say – the truth will never work! What if today is the day that Hollywood talent agent spots me, but my chances are blown by this facial mishap?”
Within 30 seconds of seeing my forehead in the morning light I calculated nearly every possible response to my forehead and I immediately declared I wasn’t leaving the house for a week.
After my vanity wrestled long enough with my masculinity (except for the brief internal debate on whether the band-aid should be placed horizontally or vertically), I finally manned up and became determined to go about my day. I hardly gave it a thought.
That is, until I met my friends for coffee …
“Did you head-butt somebody?” “Did you cut yourself shaving?” and “What’s the other guy look like?” Then of course there were a few polite blank stares accompanied by mere silence. I had planned to redirect inquiries with a laugh and a veiled reference to farm equipment, but in the end, I just told the plain, lame truth.
“I scratched myself.”
It was then my friend Chris Merritt said, “We’re gonna have to wrap your hands up with mittens like a little newborn baby!”
This is not the first calamity to threaten my sudden thrust into Hollywood stardom. In fact I’ve had a number of head and face injuries dramatically affecting my appearance
In sixth grade, I broke a front tooth on a football helmet (I know, the helmet is supposed to be on my head, not in my hand so it can ricochet off my knee). It has been capped ever since. It was originally silver (I think I was hip hop before there was Hip Hop!) Over the years the cap has literally become unglued and lodged itself in various different food groups. A missing front tooth never has good timing, especially in the business world. The most recent occurrence was in 2007. During a business lunch where I was making a pitch to a client to renew our marketing contract, my tooth got stuck in a cheeseburger.
That was really awesome.
A less comical curveball was thrown my way in 2009; I was stricken by ocular shingles. Until then I thought Shingles was an old persons disease that was eradicated during the Reagan Administration. Stricken is not a word I use lightly. Shingles is no laughing matter, particularly near the eyes. My public service announcement for the day is, “If you’ve had Chicken Pox, you’re exposed. Get the vaccine.” The picture below does not do the pain justice.
At nearly 55 years of age I would have thought that vanity would have worked itself out of the rotation of my psychological nuances by now. Not so; maybe when I’m closer to 56. In the meantime I’ll just have to hope Hollywood is looking for another aging, vain klutz clamoring for attention.
It’s time for date night – lets see how this works out! Hmmm – mittens or no mittens?