I had friends when I was younger. Long before I was a teenager.

I remember going to meet one of them, I walked past the house where the girl I put in hospital lived, and kept walking.

As I walked past the rubbish tip, I noticed an unusual homeless man, dumpster diving. The fact that he was waist deep in trash wasn't unusual, nor was the apparent fact that he was homeless, that's a natural occurrence in a big city. What made him seem unusual was his hat, it was big, fluffy and warm. Those hats were generally reserved for wives of new Russians.

He was an energetic fellow, and as soon as he spotted me, he made his way out of the dumpster. I was taken aback a little, no one addresses you in a big city except for the freaks and weirdos. I was still little, but this was my part of Moscow, no one could do me wrong.

He waved me towards him and held out his hand, he was holding something and offering it to me. His toothless grin snd childlike openness got me intrigued, so I inched forward (still being about 7 meters away and more than enough room to run). As I got closer, I saw what he was holding, and before I could react, he asked "You want?" "I make hats out of them". My eyes settled on his hand, holding the dead rat, I thanked him for his offer, politely declined and quickly made my way to the hockey rink.

In Moscow along with playgrounds, there were hockey rinks, the gates to get in and out of those were only about 4 feet high.
It was summer, I was around 8, running full speed and unfortunately, didn’t duck fast enough. I didn’t quite scalp myself, but I sure gave it a red hot go. Next thing I remember is running (even faster than the previously mentioned full speed) home, blood pouring down my face, not the usual, slow flow you would expect though, that shit was pissing out so fast I could hardly wipe my eyes quick enough to be able to see where I was going.
I remember running, feeling the blood run down my face and onto my red and black jacket, I felt bad, we couldn’t afford a lot of nice clothes, and this was one of the nicer ones I owned.

I do not envy my grandma who opened the door.

The ambulance ride was uneventful and once they got me to the hospital, a big chunk of my head was shaved, a bit of local anesthetic (if I remember correctly, they were afraid to knock me out), and the surgeons got to work on my head. That was one of the more unpleasant experiences in my life, after being told to stay still, I remember laying down, bright light shining in my face, feeling them tug on the skin, needle going through, feeling like a rubber string was being pulled through (rubber, because it would catch sometimes and tug on the skin, I may have imagined this, but I recall the sound reminding me of rubber rubbing against rubber). Once they were done, I got a chance to look down at the sheet that was covering me, THE WHOLE thing was red, I was bloody impressed, pun intended.

By this age I have developed a distaste for hospitals and remember wanting to go home as soon as possible. I can’t remember how long I spent in hospital, but I remember nearly fainting in the middle of crossing a road on the way home and dad catching me, I didn’t completely switch off and wobbled my way across, with his help.

When it was time to take out the stitches, I think they left it too late, the pain was excruciating, it was the first time I cried through this ordeal, and that was mostly because I was squeezing my eyes shut so hard from the pain. Doctor or nurse that was pulling out the stitches told me to suck it up and stop being a baby, which I thought was a bit rough.

I now have a pretty impressive scar hidden under my mane, only to be seen when I shave my head.

< Stasik's scars >