26 April 2014


Last night I googled, "How to know if I need stitches." The Wikihow link at the top of the list assured me there were only five steps to knowing if stitches were necessary. "Steps" seemed like an organized, simple process of elimination. "Steps" are reassuring.

Step one: With cloth or damp paper towel apply pressure to wound. If still bleeding profusely after five minutes, go to the hospital and get stitches.


Isn't five minutes a little premature? Anyway, after twenty minutes I had stopped bleeding profusely and now several hours later my finger wasn't really bleeding anymore, of course it was going to bleed just a little when I bumped the side of my index finger into something. 

I read the rest of the steps and three out of five agreed with me, no hospital trips necessary, so majority rules. Right? It couldn't be a quarter of an inch deep, wouldn't that be half the width of my finger? And I hadn't seen any bone...

You see, I'd just wanted some fresh baguette. I'd picked up the baguettes yesterday afternoon, it's one of my favorite parts of living in France: going to my local bakery, struggling to explain myself, and walking home with warm delicious baguettes cradled in my arms. When I got home from the bakery yesterday, I was hungry. A bit of baguette and cheese sounded like a great snack. I was happily cutting the bread when the serrated knife slipped––

There are several rolls of paper towel out for use around the kitchen. This was convenient as my finger was starting to drip bright red drops. In fact, drip might be the wrong word as all the drops were connected into a little stream. It wouldn't do to fixate on that though, I pressed the neatly folded paper towel square onto the cut and thought about what my next step should be. Should I tell Marie and ask her what she thinks we should do? No, I should wash the knife, other people may want bread. 

I have an aversion to receiving attention about wounds. To have someone try to take care of me, see if I'm OK, or to tell me I'm OK and it's no big deal: that all sounds horrid. I would rather keep busy, move on. I stopped short of drying the knife. My next idea was to hold my finger above my heart, that should slow the bleeding down. I grabbed a few peanut m&ms with my other hand and decided that if I was still bleeding in twenty minutes...no half an hour...or maybe 45 minutes just to be sure– I would show Marie. I wondered if it was bad to wait 24 hours before deciding if stitches were necessary.

My finger looked horrible this morning but like the skin could mend itself back together barring its being ripped apart again. If you want to know what it looked like, I took a picture. I'm not yet sure if I'm being foolhardy, I sometimes don't know how to take care of myself, especially considering my high tolerance for pain. I wouldn't have considered stitches but I don't think I've ever cut myself this badly or bled so freely. I'm not really aware of how to take care of myself all the time, which is largely the purpose of this blog and half of my conversations with my sister: to learn how to be a functioning human. But really, it feels better to be scarred and to have toughed it out. Now I just have to force myself to wear bandaids for a very long time. I hate bandaids. Do you think I can find superhero ones in France?

Ironically, I bought a shirt in London last week with the image of a finger spurting blood.

15 April 2014


The Queen waving and saying, "Y'aright?"

Well I'm getting ready to take my fourth trip to England, no big deal.

Rachel, Meg, and I got matching caps in February. I think these were our "Goodbye Meg" faces and for some reason this translates as mischievous for Rachel. Photo credit: Meg
I'm going to miss that so much. I'm going to miss that in just two and a half hours I can pop up in London and wander around wondering which of my favorite detectives is out there on a murder mystery, I'm going to miss the English countryside that is packed with sheep and people in wellies, and I'm going to miss struggling with British currency and once I figure it out the shopkeeper responds with "Cheers!" I know there are loads of countries accessible to me right now but I just cannot get over England. And there's so many places in the UK I haven't been yet! Wales! I really want to go to Wales! And Scotland! I found my dream vacation cottage on the sea shore of the Shetland Islands. Someday I'm going to go there all by myself and spend days staring out the window, collecting stones from the beach, and biking along country lanes just being quiet.

"To tear" in French is dechirer, a word I review every time I walk through the metro
I'm going to miss the accordion players on the streets of France. I'm going to miss the feeling when I realize more French vocabulary has embedded itself deep enough into my brain that it feels familiar and primordial, not like a stilted translation of what I want to say.

And I cannot stop thinking about visiting the Baltic Sea in the darkest night, the closest I have ever come to experiencing the abyss of expanding space.

Yesterday was my nine month anniversary. Only four more months of Europe.

08 April 2014


modified from original source

Everything fell apart
Once they realized the moon was filled with gak.
The people from Nickelodeon,
understanding the industrial components of gak,
felt like life had lost its magic.
Everybody's zest grew stale and
blew away in the wind
causing dust storms in unlikely places
like aisle seven of McGruff's Family Grocery
and between the toes of certain sailors.
Civilizations get shanked by the most unlikely things.

*written 12 January 2014