You know how I know I’m an adult?
– I cut myself pretty badly while cooking last night.
– I did not cry, throw up, or pass out. Even though it was really really gross.
– I stopped the bleeding and cleaned the wound which involved pouring peroxide on it, and I didn’t need my mom to blow on it to make it better.
Considering how often I cook and how comfortable I am with knives, I’m surprised this didn’t happen sooner. I mean, I’ve nicked myself before, and I think I have a permanent set of notches on one of my thumbs from repeated abuse with a vegetable peeler. But until last night, I’d never gone all the way through my fingernail and down into the nail bed. I suppose this is a testament to my knife and the care Graham takes in sharpening it, but I felt only the tiniest nip of pain and it is probably the cleanest cut I could have hoped for through my own finger.
Even though it was really really gross.
And no way was I going to the hospital. I don’t have medical insurance yet and I know what a private hospital charges for something as simple as Neosporin. I also know that a doctor can’t sew your fingernail back on, and that on a place like the fingertip, it’s probably best to just clean it out and hope for no nerve damage. I mean, I know there’s no nerve damage. God, I would be really pissed if there was nerve damage.
So now I’m making sure to wash it gently, wrap it carefully, and not fuck around with it a lot, even though it’s a total pain in the ass because although I type super fast (80 WPM is a conservative estimate that I keep on my resume because I’m afraid people will think I’m lying), I still type incorrectly, with only the index and middle fingers of each hand. Sometimes a thumb. But not often. And now that I can’t use my left index finger (I tried, and I definitely cannot use it the way incorrect typists intended), I’m just kind of stabbing away at one half of the keyboard with my middle finger.
Which is a pretty accurate representation of my attitude towards work, it just doesn’t help me get anything done.
When I thought about back when I had to have my mom blow on the peroxide after it was applied to some scrape or cut, I realized that when I was a kid, I was a fucking pussy. Then I realized that this wasn’t actually true; remarkably, I have managed to reach my 30s without needing stitches or breaking a bone. Which is not to say that nothing was painful. My parents removed splinters with tweezers, burned out ticks with matches, and if we had a family crest, it could rightly display the motto “Shake It Off” (can family crests convey a dismissive tone, as well?). But my reaction to pain then was more about fear than the actual agony or prolonged discomfort, or maybe now that I’m an adult and have experienced things like periods, hangovers, and mental anguish, I know what real pain is like.
This finger? Pain. It hurts a lot, actually, and I feel a little lurch in my stomach when I change the bandage and get a glimpse of what looks like fishbelly dead skin with a nearly severed fingernail somehow hanging on for dear life. It’s not real pain, though, the worst pain, so now I get to conclude being such a bitch about it and learn to type more aggressively with this middle finger.
Because not doing so would be a waste of a good injury, don’t you think?