Not the face! – Peter Feely ponders life with a dented head.
As an adult, injuries have a whiff of indignity. When you’re a youngster, sporting a grazed knee is a badge of honour, affording hours of entertainment picking at the scab. Unfortunately, as a supposedly mature member of society, wounds are less welcome. As a child, accidents were greeted with affection and sympathy, now any embarrassing scars are met with disdain followed by derision.
While I don’t see myself as particularly clumsy, my face is a testament to a long litany of mishaps. From falling off a carbon fibre sports bike to splitting my chin attempting to surf, most forms of physical activity tend to end in blood and pain.
My most recent collision occurred while I was pontificating about something irrelevant and happened to collide with an open cupboard door. Without wishing to over dramatise the scenario, there were epic amounts of blood which I believe I dealt with valiantly. Like the majority of the male race, I quickly established that the best way to deal with the horror of my disfigured nose and forehead was to pretend it hadn’t happened and avoid mirrors for a while. With a throbbing head and a sense of pertinent mortality I attempted to maintain a modicum of dignity, ignoring the daft Harry Potter hole on my depressingly large forehead.
What I hadn’t considered, however, was the increased ferocity which the battle scar lent to my appearance. Before the incident, I was a slight physical proposition. Now, with my suspicious looking facial scars I appear more like an unpredictable street fighter and therefore carry more gravitas. I’m greeted with the respectful sneer of fellow brawlers instead of being ignored. It’s not all rosy though – such an appearance has the opposite effect on women – they glance quickly with concerned eyes of contempt, shielding their precious children from the vulgar creature they’re forced to share a lift with. I have made futile attempts to disguise my disfigurement – inane ideas about sweeping my fringe across the offending area prove fruitless as the large bruise on my prominent nose merely draws people in for closer inspection.
The most depressing aspect is the expression the wound provokes from my partner. There is a distinct scowl as she reconsiders why she would have the misfortune to end up with someone as pathetic as her wounded excuse for masculinity. While this should be cause for concern, it merely irritates me in the same way that a particular colleague has decided to amuse himself by consistently encouraging me to go for a KAT scan to check for brain damage.
But being a philosophical type, I realise that, ridiculous Harry Potter scar aside, I will probably make a full recovery, life in Dubai will carry on as normal and chances are, it won’t be too long until something similar happens to me again…