Yesterday, I dove to grab a receipt that flew under my car and banged my head on the rear view mirror on the way back up. I stood for a few minutes next to my car wincing. It was a bone-cracking whack that made my eyes feel a bit shaky and my head start to burn. I checked my scalp and no blood...it was probably all coagulating in my brain I thought morbidly.
Ever the tough soldier, I carried on with my evening plans of gym and then fajitas with Parul. As night approached and I settled into my book and some YouTube videos with Liontamer, I began wondering if I had a welt. I checked around...nothing. I couldn't even feel a bruise! To some, this may be reassuring, to me it was slightly terrifying, like when Frankenstein's monster suddenly discovered his strength.
"Where's the bump! Where's the bruise!" Maybe I couldn't feel it because my skull was numb from a fracture or maybe I actually hurt myself so badly that this is only a dream...the real, me is lying comatose in a hospital as her friends huddle close in corners, quietly weeping.
Then of course, I realized that I had a thick skull. That phrase, "thick skull" is often used to describe people who are intellectually stubborn, despite facts or other evidence that contradict their beliefs. Like George W. Bush or Anne Coulter. For me, it's a biological reality, a conclusion that has been, unfortunately, tested several times with unerring result--so far.
When I was one, a Tallahassee Democract photographer at a park asked my mother if he could take a picture of me going down the slide. I was just a gurggling blob in a diaper so my mom asked if an adult could go down with me. Some dude or chick was recruited or something. Well, I've always been a bit anxious to start things so somehow I ended up heading down before the "adult" whomever that was, could grab hold of me. And man over board! I plopped down probably still gurggling in the grass after a drop of about five feet. My mom, frantic, took me to the doctor and apparently, I was perfectly undented.
Fast forward a few years to when I was 9 and decided it was a genius idea to pretend to be a pilot and ride my stepbrother's bike--which had NO brakes--down the steepest hill in our neighborhood. I would whizz by Brian and pretend that once I passed him I had landed safely.
Of course, another trip later, my flip flopped feet fail to deploy. I am hurled several feet to land on merciless black pavement directly on the top of my head and later on my jaw (I forget which side). I didn't break my head, didn't break my jaw (although I couldn't move it for a few days), and ended up only with a few stitches in my lip.
As a result, I learned how to talk without moving my mandible as well as the vagaries of trying to eat with only your tongue to scrape things on the roof of your mouth.
Perhaps by now, we've established that I'm also perpetually clumsy--perhaps a genetic trait that developed first and necessitated stronger bones for survival. I can see my hominid ancestor now, stubbing his toe on the first wheel, howling at the intense pain, and marveling that he could still move it later.