I’m thinking today about scars.
Several of my characters have them, including Shane Little. If you look closely at this lovely drawing by Catherine Dair, you can see some of them on his face and arm:
Shane is a little self-conscious about his scars, but Jimmy doesn’t mind them. If anything, Jimmy agrees with me that scars tell a story. They’re a little like tattoos, I guess, although less intentional. And hey! Less expensive.
For instance, a scar runs the width of my right index finger, just below the knuckle. I got that one during the summer after my freshman year of college, when I was working at a pizza place. My hand shifted a bit while I was cleaning under the blade of the meat slicer (which, thankfully, was turned off), and zap! Blood everywhere. I needed 8 stitches and, as the ER doctor said, there went my career as a hand model.
I have another scar from my fast food youth, actually. This one is a burn mark atop my left forearm. McDonald’s French fry basket, straight out of the fryer. Ow.
The long thin mark high on my right bicep is from when my Saint Bernard, Ruthie, was a puppy and hadn’t yet learned that jumping up to greet people is a no-no. I guess her nails needed clipping.
I have a couple of chicken pox scars on my face. Thirteen kids in my kindergarten came down with the chicken pox, but Morris Mills got the mumps. Wonder what ever happened to him.
The tiny scars on my right palm and wrist came from carpal tunnel surgery. Totally worth it. I also have a small surgery scar on my lower back from when I ruptured a disc. That surgery was even more worth it.
My husband has a very long, wide scar on his forearm, a souvenir of surgery after a bad car accident when he was 12. The same incident left a mark on his chin.
Large or small, I never find scars ugly. They’re the words on the pages of our body.
Oh, and what about the scars we can’t see–the ones on our psyches and in our souls? Poor Jimmy has plenty of those.
You can read about Shane’s obvious scars and Jimmy’s not-so-obvious ones in Rattlesnake, of course.
Do your scars tell your story?