I have a scar on my face. It is my favourite scar. It cannot easily be seen as it is usually covered by a light dusting of makeup, but it is there. The scar is shaped like an inverted exclamation point that tilts slightly towards my ear. I can see it when I look into the 7x mirror, and when I am very tired and without makeup.
I was 8 or 9 years old. It was summer camp and I had just spent my daily allotment on a pack of Juicy Fruit gum. Those were the days gum came in long, thing pieces wrapped individually in delicate foil. I loved Juicy Fruit gum. It made me feel important to unwrap each piece, folding it in three as I pressed it into my waiting mouth. The taste was worth the anticipation and filled my senses with joy and artificial flavour.
That day, I held my package of gum tightly in my fist and ran for the playground. Here I could mix both my pleasures - fruit flavoured gum and the merry-go-round. I jumped on the merry-go-round while it was in mid twirl. Holding on with one hand, I joined the other children in creating more speed by pushing off with one foot. Round and round and round. Faster and faster. We spun faster than the world could move, wind flying in our hair.
However, I could only hold on with one hand. The other fist held my gummy bounty. Suddenly, I lost my hold. I swung forward with the merry-go-round and abruptly swung back. My arms flailed until I landed firmly and heavily in the grass. Breath gone, head swaying, I lay there and looked at the sky as adults gathered around me.
Physically, I was fine. Winded, but nothing broken. However, my face was bleeding. I held my Juicy Fruit tight in my hand, but in my flailing had caught the edge of the foil on my cheek.
I still ate the gum.