Knot Knot Knot
|Coincidentally I have a proclivity for bangs.|
I stand adjacent to the doors, adjacent to where the dam has opened. I take money, help adults fill out forms, and give directions to the bathroom, thickening my southern accent when necessary. I point with two fingers like an airline stewardess. I'm manning the table when my editor walks up next me. We talk and joke. We are interrupted by an elderly man. A round, short, old, snow-hair covered elderly man, working suspenders with a pullover. No judgment from me, old people get a free pass in the fashion department.
"Now I'm not trying to be derogatory or nothing," he tells me... before I continue, let's all take a moment to appreciate this opening line. This could go anywhere. We all know that when elderly white men and the word derogatory are in the same scenario it is usually a horrible disaster in the making. Something that makes a person lose all faith in the world.
"Now I'm not trying to be derogatory or nothing," he tells me, "but are you from Specific City, Florida?"
I have no idea where this is going, so I smile and reply, "No, I'm from Georgia."
"Well, and I'm not trying to be derogatory, but I knew these twin sisters from Specific City, Florida who both had a knot in the middle of their foreheads! And I just thought you might be related!"
I laugh. Smile.
“No, no. I don't think so."
He reaches to me and touches my arm.
"I wasn't trying to be derogatory or nothin'."
I smile, "Oh, I know! I understand."
I hear my editor, who has been standing by this whole time, laughing. I turn to him as the man walks away with my eyes wide.
"You wouldn't believe how often that happens," I tell him.
It's true though. I have a nickel sized knot just missing the center of my forehead. No one at my newspaper office has ever mentioned it. The majority of the time, no one mentions it. I can only think of one time that anyone in one of my classes mentioned it.
It's summer. I'm taking my last required science class Environmental Science. I've made some tentative friendships in class, so we all sit at the same lab table with uncomfortably tall bar stools, too tall to even prop your feet on without hitting the bottom of the lab table. We all sit and chat while our professor prepares for the class. There a lull in our conversation. The girl next to me grasps my arm with both of her hands.
Just a quick note - I'm not one of those people okay with being suddenly touched. I jump, thinking she's going to say something serious or silly - I don't know.
"I'm not trying to be mean, I'm just wondering," she tells me, "Is that a cyst on your forehead?"
"Um, I think so?"
She launches into her own story about a cyst and another girl across the table has her own story about one. They were both so nice, and the first girl was really kind about bringing it up. I paraphrased above, but I remember feeling like there was not a more kind way to bring up my lovely forehead lump.
I don't know if it's a cyst. My family doctor immediately diagnosed it on site when I took my Nana to see him. He used doctor speak, so I don't remember what he told me. He did say that a surgery could easily remove it - wouldn't even leave a scar. I think I was kind of offended. I think it's a doctor’s natural proclivity to correct flaws, but I just never thought of my knot noggin to be heinous or something to be corrected cosmetically. The reason I will most likely get it removed is because sometimes it can be the source of brain aches. Even when people are not so nice about my knot, I still don't feel more inclined to get it chopped. I do, however, feel less inclined to entering an Advanced Auto Parts store alone.
1.) I walk in. "Girl, did you get hit?!" BELLOWING LAUGHTER.
2.) I walk in. "Did you run into a pole?" SLY SMILE AND CHUCKLE
3.) I walk in. "Something about running into something and bumping my head."
I've even had people at my church say not so nice things.
"Did somebody knock you?" HOLDS UP FIST AND LAUGHS
My best friend named my knot Suzanne in high school. Once he was introducing me to a group of people. I was being cordial. After everyone greets me, he then points at my knot and says, "And this is Suzanne." The whole group explodes in laughter. Honestly, I did too. Situational humor.
So, just so we have all the bases covered, I get a lot of attention and a lot of none attention about my knot. It's weird. It's uncomfortable. It's hilarious. It's made me practically swear off auto parts stores. If only I didn't need a new radiator cap!
I don't what it is about slightly different things that set people into motion like a steamroller, thinking that they are the ones who are allowed to point something out they think is a flaw. I'm glad that I only have to live with a knot, anything more abnormal would probably make me lose my marble stone confidence - mostly because of the comments I would be guaranteed to get.
But how, oh how, did this knot first appear?
My mom's version: I fell one day at daycare. My head gently caresses an exposed pipe. No one bothered to call my mom. When she came to pick me up I was watching TV on the couch. From then on it's been knot city. I, as to be expected, have no recollection of this.
I have told many origin stories, here's a sampler:
- Undeveloped twin
- Where I was separated from my conjoined twin
What I actually believe:
Maybe my mom's story was the catalyst... but I kind of just think it happened, like veni, vidi, vici.
Or, you know, aliens.