The Monster

Orange has never been my favorite color; not even close.  It looks good on pumpkins and sunsets, but that’s about it.  Teal, turquoise, or even cowboy pink seem more suitable for every day.  Khaki and olive drab had better days years ago.  Maybe Snowball, our cat, has the best idea since white is always fashionable and clean.

Daisy has a sudden new obsession with colors.  The first time I turned on the heat this month, she took a few crayons and placed them on the heating vent.  Apparently, she wanted to create a new color because as they softened, they melted together into a big ball of angry.  It was a good experiment but the  outcome wasn’t quite what she expected.  The rainbow effect was less than attractive.

Junior has been determined lately to drive his bike like a daredevil when riding with his friends.  The result of his trying to use his bike to jump a short concrete barrier in the parking lot of the funeral home at the end of the block was an bad accident.  He arrived home with a bloody red face.  It was difficult to see the actual cut with so much blood around his eye.  He wasn’t crying but his pals had to guide him home after the failed jump and subsequent skid.  The bike got a little twisted too.

Luckily, Gail was over my house when it happened so I felt sure that she would know what to do.  Instead, she started shrieking when she saw the blood on Junior’s face. I grabbed a clean rag and dabbed at his eyes.  They both opened and then I saw the real cut.  In a perfect line with his left eyebrow was a deep slash.  I held the towel to his eyebrow to try to stop the blood.  At that point, I ordered Daisy and Gail’s kids into the back of her car and told her to get us to the hospital emergency room.  Gail couldn’t even look at me and Junior as he sat with me on the front bench.  I put pressure on his eyebrow all the way.  As I explained the situation to the person at the registration desk, Gail lined the kids up in a row in the waiting room.  She had begun to compose herself.  When Junior and I emerged from the treatment room later, Junior was able to show off the line of stitches that repaired the damage.  The doctor had talked Junior through the whole ordeal.  His shirt was a pink blood-stained mess and not salvageable.  I am not that good of a laundress. Gail clutched him closely as we left and the other children alternately gasped and giggled at his face.

I had never seen Gail lose it before.  More surprisingly, I maintained control when I had to.

Steve had arrived home to find the house empty with my car still in the garage, blood on the kitchen tile and toys left in the middle of play on the floor.  I had not left a note in my haste.  When he saw the twisted bike by the back door, he made some assumptions and was getting ready to call the local hospital.  He was glad to see the whole group of us return.  Gail gathered up her kids and left for home, still a little shaky.  I am sure a strong cocktail was in the plan before starting dinner.

I explained what happened to Junior and asked Steve to order pizza delivery for dinner.  Junior and I went off to gently wash off his neck and change him into his pajamas.  The children retold the story from their perspective as we ate.  I wasn’t sure if Junior was embellishing the size of the barrier he was trying to jump but it made for a dramatic tale.  Daisy was able to tell the part about waiting for Junior to get his cut repaired.  Gail apparently paced up and down in front of the kids while they all sat stoically.  Steve hugged both kids for their calm in the face of terror.  They ran off to watch TV before bedtime.  I was then able to tell Steve about Gail’s loss of composure in the face of a medical emergency. Even better than that, I was able to relate how my cool composure handled the whole ordeal.  I was blatantly proud of myself.  Steve hugged me too but asked if I could leave a short note next time.

Junior did end up with a headache the following morning, but Daisy was able to provide assistance this time.  Daisy told Junior that his stitches provided the best start for his Halloween costume for next year, Frankenstein’s monster.  Practically speaking, he could pull it off easily. We may have to paint in the stitches by that point.

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