I recently wrote about some non-festering granite in my foot (note to self: name my rock band “Festering Granite”) and readers of this drivel commented that 1) I’m probably going to get gangrene, and, b) Go to the doctor right away, even though that reader still has rocks in their knees from the early 80s.
Well, the current podiatrical update is that the granite is still in there, and it doesn’t really hurt anymore. Also I don’t have gangrene. Unless gangrene begins with minor sinus pain and the desire to stay home from work drinking hot buttered rum, then baby, I got the gangrene BAD. But my best pal “anonymous's” story reminded me, that I too, am walking around with gravel rattling in me, apparently causing me no more harm than the granite in my foot.
When I was 7 years old, I wrecked my sister’s sweet ass purple bike with extra long metallic banana seat and ape hanger handle bars. (Secondary note to self: Banana Seat would be an awesome band name, but it's already taken by some dudes in Oklahoma.) This bike was so cool that if it had windows, they’d be tinted super dark. I rode it periodically WITH PERMISSION ONLY. My sister didn’t ride it anymore because she had short-shorts, knee socks and feathered hair, which required a ten-speed. Believe me, at the time it was relevant. It was much too big for me, but by sitting on the very tippy end of the seat, and using my very tippy toes to pedal, and stretching my arms as faaaaar as they would go, I could manage it. Kinda.
So, one day, I walked the sweet purple machine two doors down from my house to the concrete driveway of the volunteer fire department station, because the only smooth surfaces in town to ride bikes on were the blacktop at the school, the firestation driveway, and the state highway. I spent as much time as possible riding in circles around and around and around a this fabulously flat chunk of concrete. It was smooth sailing, so to speak, in contrast to the rutted mud and oiled dirt the rest of the town provided for my entertainment.
There was often gravel on the driveway – understandably – and it took careful coordination and super steering ability to maneuver the circles at high speed. Or so I imagined. This particular day, I was doing amazingly well, and imagined that all passing grown-ups were probably saying, “My! What a skilled child that is! I bet she’ll be an amazing driver when she’s bigger! I wonder if she’s a child race car driver NOW? Should we get her autograph?” When a jerky kid caused my accident. This jerky kid, who I will give the fake name, hmm, let’s see, how ‘bout we call him “Donny S.” rode his bike really close to mine for a few circles, causing me to wobble since the bike was way too big for me, and I eventually banked my turn a little too hard, slid sideways on the gravel and crashed. Well, “crashed” is really not it, I just sort of hit the ground and kept sliding. For awhile. When I eventually skid to a stop in a pitiful heap of plaid shorts and uneven ponytails, “Donny S.” laughed really hard. He was at least 6 years older than me, so it was an especially rotten thing to do.
Luckily, my head took most of the impact. So I was okay. Mostly. See, the sliding across the gravel and concrete on the side of my head part? Turns out that sort of embeds gravel in your head. Which my mom had to remove with a pair of tweezers while I sat screaming on the kitchen counter. To quote my 7 year old self, “Neato Kapeato.”
At least one piece of gravel remains under my left ear, because both my mother and I very quickly tired of her digging around in my skull with tweezers. Later that week, I confronted “Donny S.” in his front yard, right in front of his grandma, too, and told him how dreadfully injured I was and that he was a very rotten and jerky guy for making a little girl wreck. I am sure he and his grandma felt really badly when I growled through clenched teeth, “AND NOW I HAVE ROCKS IN MY HEAD!”
I’m thinking that I should get a disclaimer on my drivers license weight due to heavy mineral content.