It’s Just Part of Life: Scarred, for Life (?)
I’ve been shot; I’ve been stabbed; I’v been bitten; I’ve have 4 surgeries to excise cancerous tumors. Each incident has resulted in a permanent, physical scar. In a way, a perverse way in some ways I suppose, I’m proud of each. They are partially a roadmap to my experience here on Earth; partially a reminder of where I’ve been, and I hope, will not go again.
Physiologically, I’ve been lucky. I’ve seen some ugly, nasty, downright stomach-turning scars. Most of these are generally characterized as “Keloid:” /ˈkilɔɪd/; is a type of scar, which is a result of an overgrowth of granulation tissue at the site of a healed skin injury which is then slowly replaced by collagen type 1. Keloids are firm, rubbery lesions or shiny, fibrous nodules, and can vary from pink to flesh-coloured or red to dark brown in colour.
But like I said, I’ve been lucky. After over 3 feet of cumulative scarring and thousands of stitches, I am keloid free. My scars are not nasty at all, at least in my opinion. I actually like them.
To me, they are a testament that we humans can withstand the worst of the worst, the most painful pain, and rebound strongly.
(about) 1975; 3” – across the length of my right eyebrow. My German Shepherd, Prince, lashes out at me when I stick my face into his food bowl while he’s eating.
January 1978; 4” – pubic area, right side. Doctor Leonard Goldman pulls my right ball from my sack.
July 1978; 9”- left chest. Doctor Jordan Hallar performs a “partial thoracotomy;” taking about 50% of my left lung, finding it riddled with malignant tumor. (CANCER!)
October 1980’ 9”; – right chest. Doctor Jordan Hallar is back for a return engagement!!… After a recurrence of my cancer, Doc cuts out about another 30% of my right lung. This incision runs in an almost perfect semi-circle under my right pec (it looks great, but it somehow forever numbs my right nipple). (and for those running a tally, I now have less than one lung TOTAL, between the two; triathlon ready!)
November 1980; 5” – left forearm. “Incision” made by ______________ (unnamed assailant, aka dental victim). In one side of my arm and out the other, severing every tendon along the way. Acquired on the mean streets of Westwood, CA, while going after a knife-wielding assailant who was going after my brother. The staples from my latest lung operating are still in. The fucker ruined my black satin jacket. Fucker. The site – which looks like I’d imagine a mini-sharkbite to look—is still somewhat numb.
February, 2004; 1” – forehead. It’s UPW’s 5th Anniversary Show, where I face the evil Pete Doyle for control of the company. I cut a tiny corner off a razor blade and pull it across my forehead to create a geyser of blood, for dramatic effect. After all, for once in my life, I am the good guy. The scar is faint, pink, and kind of pretty.
September, 2008; 1” – left lower abdomen. Scar courtesy of _______________ (unknown rent-a-cop, Lake Elsinore, CA). I’m living in the back seat of my up-for-repossession Mercedes, out of food and out of drugs. “Borrowing both” after smashing the glass at a local CVS. The guy that pops me with appears to be a .22 looks far more nervous than I must’ve in my near-catatonic state. I look at this scar now, from my beautiful poolside guest house, and say, “f, I’m an upper middle class Jewish kid from the Valley and I have a bullet scar from a break and grab. Nice!”
March, 2011. 1” – back of left hand. From pulling an 80+ pound monster doggie off of Ramone. I had choked it unconscious, but let go too soon and it jumped up and got me good. Nothing I wouldn’t do for my boy. It’s a gooood scar.
As I said, I like my scars; I wear them, in many ways, as badges of honor. They’ve healed well over time, and continue to fade as the years go by. Sometime, I fear that they’ll disappear completely.
But, those that run deepest are the ones that are burnt on the heart and on the soul.
They may not be visible on a physical plane, but –until I learn how to heal—they are the ones that remain forever etched on being, my waking consciousness.
The experiences and the people that make a life. The moments that matter.
My MOM. My DAD. SAM. MARLEY. G. My sense of SELF.
Some days, these scars are much more faint than they are on others. And on others, they are vivid. Fresh. Raw.