In keeping with recent posts, let’s talk a little more about my ability to hurt myself. It never ceases to be entertaining to me, so I imagine it’s probably pretty funny to you, too.
I am now sporting, proudly, what I have dubbed the “bartender tattoo.” Chances are that if they’re in any way uncoordinated, every bartender you know has one. What I’m talking about is not a bruise, but a cluster of bruises vaguely resembling the Gorbachev world map birthmark, on my left hip. This beast was gained by not one unfortunate bump into hip-height stuff (and there’s lots of it behind a bar), but many collisions with hip-height stuff: bottles sticking out of a well that’s not quite vertical anymore (Cachaca’s the worst, so tall); the beer cooler at one end and the wine cooler at the other end, both placed with narrow passage and made with really pointy, meat-of-the-hip height corners; tables…
I love my job, but it, like every other facet of my life, is apparently hazardous.
Not related to the tattoo, but also quite painful (and funny)… On Saturday night, I was hurrying to the kitchen to get plates or coffee or some other thing that should not be so damn far away. The restaurant was packed, and servers were all clothed in black, running around like crazed little shadows, and all of the tables in the elevated “VIP” section had guests at them. I, of course, shot out from behind the bar and ran smack into the sharp part of the lip that comes off of the corner of the wall around VIP, with such force that it made me double at the waist and yell, “GUHHHH.” I then hobbled into the kitchen for whatever I was after, with tears in my eyes. When I passed the table near the pointy wall, the guests were still discussing the look on my face as I went down. I limped back behind the bar and lifted up my shirt to inspect the mark–this hit was higher than the others, RIGHT on my right hip bone. It was already purple. I poked it a bit (yes, it still hurt like hell), did a shot, and jumped back into the fray. I think I probably added a whole continent to Gorbachev’s map that night.
I’m going to the beach tomorrow. People are going to think I’m being battered by an abusive midget.
I did, however, hear a story that made me feel like I was not alone in the world. My friend Susanna and her brother Jonathan, who’s one of my best friends, grew up going to the dump with their dad to look for car and motorcycle parts. If you’re an islander, you know that this is not (or was not twenty or thirty years ago) all that strange. Susanna was young–I’m gonna guess between eight and twelve because I wasn’t listening when she said how old she was. She had just gotten a brand new vest that had zipper pockets. She and Jon were climbing up a big pile of tires and other junk, and Susanna, who loved the zippers on her pockets, zipped up one of her hands into the pocket of her vest. She then had Jonathan zip her other hand up in the other pocket. She promptly tripped on some piece of junk and went tumbling down dump hill, and when she landed at the bottom, she couldn’t get up. Knowing her brother as I do, he probably tickled and jabbed at her for a minute or two, laughing hysterically, before helping her to her feet and out of her self-imposed strait jacket. I didn’t know her father, but my father wouldn’t have stopped laughing for half an hour if it had been me, and he would have told the story to everyone he knew, so probably…
God, I wish I’d been able to laugh it off when I was eight. I’m twenty-eight now, and I think I have a pretty good sense of humor about things, but there are still times when I think to myself, why couldn’t I just be graceful and tan and not wear the evidence of my mishaps on my skin like targets?
But then I’d be boring.