Updated: Sep 10
These stories have a common theme and flow: Boy is doing something in the kitchen/basement/garage. Something diverts boy (i.e., he drops a tool or reacts to an external distraction). Boy returns (too quickly, usually) to original activity. Boy hits head. Bleeding ensues.
I’m happy to report that it has “been a minute” (as the kids say) since I’ve had a good, solid “I hit my head” story. That said, I have long history of cracking my noggin on things, so much so that in my first book, A Year In Words (2019), I devote an entire piece to my cranial capers, categorizing them by type and severity as follows:
Cat 1: Daily occurrences; hardly worth mentioning
Cat 2: Hurts like a sonofabitch, but not serious
Cat 3: Unidentified (Hmm …)
Cat 4: Bumps and bleeders
(For further explanation of these categories, you’ll have to get your hands on the book, available on Amazon.com and in bookstores almost nowhere … and here ends my one and only shameless plug for A Year In Words.)
It was Friday morning, and I had several proverbial “fires” burning: a couple of deadline work projects, an errand or two that needed to be run, prepping for an upcoming meeting, things like that. It was about 9 a.m. when I reached for my coffee and noticed it had gone cold. Not wanting to waste a half cup, I decided to pop it in the microwave. No problem, right?
So, with all the ease and grace I could muster (lately I’ve been working hard on incorporating as much ease and grace as possible into my everyday movements specifically to ward off incidents and accidents which throughout my life have sought me out with incredible regularity), I spun from the kitchen counter to the microwave, popped the “door open” button, let it swing open, slid the cup into the microwave, and casually swung the door back so it could click shut.
However, as I swung the microwave door back toward its closed position (and “toward” becomes a pivotal word in this part of the story), I noticed a stray button on the floor. Momentarily forgetting my self-imposed “move with ease and grace” directive, I quickly bent down to pick it up, and thanks to Newton’s “something law of something” (which states that for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction), I stood up just as quickly, at the precise moment the microwave door swung back into the direct path of my head.
Ironically, in my quest to move with ease and grace, I hadn’t swung the door hard enough for it to slam shut, which allowed it to swing back open in the split second it took for me to 1) see something on the floor, 2) bend down, 3) pick it up and 4) arise to greet the corner of the door with the right side of my head.
Without any ease or grace at all, I immediately let out a loud, brief but colorful string of expletives (I’ll let your mind run with what it might have included) and put my right hand to my head, feeling the familiar flow of blood that has played a regular (and often hilarious) part of my life.
It was, by my own rating system, a Cat 4 (Bumps and bleeders). After regaining my composure (and, of course, stuffing the button safely in my pocket because who knows where it came from and if we’d need it), I grabbed some paper towel and pressed it against the wounds (yes, plural because somehow, within about six nanoseconds, I managed to create two gashes just above my right ear that looked like a snake bite; if, of course, the snake would have been 200 feet long with teeth the size of tent stakes).
The good news? This type of incident has happened so often it truly landed me in the center of my comfort zone, so nothing fazed me about it. Sure, it hurt. Sure, I was bleeding. Yes, I yelled out a few curse words (with all the doors and windows to the house open, allowing neighbors and passers-by to hear and probably wonder). But on the bright side, I was still standing (always a plus), and the microwave door was still intact. which made me think, “Maybe they do make things like they used to after all.” (I was worried I would find it hanging from a single hinge.)
Also, because it happened after I placed the mug inside the unit, there was no spilled coffee (That would happen later, under different circumstances which involved carrying too many things at one time).
And bonus! I also found a button, so there’s that. (If you haven’t already surmised, in addition to trying to move with ease and grace, I’m also trying to be more optimistic.)
Now, I still had to work on stanching the blood flow from accident sites 1 and 2. I couldn’t use standard bandages, since I still have some hair in that region of my head. And I couldn’t wrap anything around my head and maintain any sense of dignity unless I was planning on blending into a Revolutionary War re-enactment.
So, I went to the bathroom, paper towel pressed firmly against the wound(s), removing it just long enough to take a quick look. As blood slowly ran down my neck, I decided to wash it off, reapply the paper towel, and secure it with a baseball cap. I then went back to my coffee (which I easily and gracefully heated up) and returned to my regularly scheduled morning.
About 45 minutes later, at the point where I had to leave the house, I removed the cap, gently unstuck the paper towel, saw that it had appropriately gathered and clotted in two, dime-sized scabs, replaced the ballcap and that was that.
And, according to the title of the aforementioned essay titled “Heads Up! It’s Just Another Day,” (in my book available on Amazon.com and in bookstores almost nowhere; OK, I lied about only making one shameless plug; so, sue me), that’s exactly what it was … just another day.
Now, three days removed from the incident, I’m happy to report that things are healing nicely. I’m not so happy to report that, thanks to a recent haircut just days before the incident, the scabs are prominent and have caused several folks to inquire. But, as my mom always says, “If that’s your biggest problem, you’re probably doing OK.” (Did I mention where you can find my book?)
© 2021 David R. Haznaw