Clever Girl?

I saw my mom head out the back door of our garden apartment carrying a full laundry basket and a box of Tide. In a brilliant flash of mischievous genius, I darted to the back door, pulled the security bar across it’s knob and waited with high pitched delight.
My mom, having found her way back in to her apartment which contained her five year old daughter and sleeping husband, blocked, was not entertained. She banged on the door, calling my name and instructions to “Open the door right now.” I jumped up and down, enjoying my triumph.
I soon tired of our game and reached up to undo the U shaped latch from it’s hard metal knob. My mother was, by this point, not thinking clearly, knowing me to be stubborn and often playful to excess. She shoved the door open at the same time.
The middle finger of my right hand, still being involved in the act of freeing her from temporary exile, got caught between knob and latch. My finger tip hung to one side like a beer stein lid. No longer considering my mother, I ran back and forth across our apartment in hysterics, screaming, crying, writhing in fear. Dad’s nap ended abruptly. He and I leaned over the bathtub inspecting the nearly severed mess my finger had become.
At some point mother’s knocking could be heard and she was finally let into her home.
In the emergency room, I was surrounded by blue curtains, mysterious machinery and strangers with uneven smiles. I wouldn’t let the nice doctor touch my wound…with anything. Memory tells me he tried to touch my finger with the ink end of a bic pen. Is that possible?? My mom’s ghostly, nauseous presence was less than helpful. A nurse escorted her out.
What follows is my version of her story about why we acquired a television soon after this fiasco.
Here’s a woman who’s been through the surreal experience of being abandoned on the wrong side of a locked door, unable to help her frantic daughter who she could see was in danger of losing the top of her finger, realizing her haste probably caused the injury in the first place…and what was that child thinking anyway! Now that her daughter was being tended to she’d been mercifully taken to the waiting room. There she sat, unable to concentrate enough to read, staring at a high screen at prime time, relaxing the slightest bit.
She saw Bill Bixby, one of her favorite actors, in a new show. That’s nice…briefly, until Bill, in a manner she had never witnessed on screen or off, magically expanded, turned a sickening green, shredded his clothes to rags and flexed his newly gained mass while bellowing like a slightly wounded animal ready to charge. Huh? Is that Lou Ferrigno?! My mother quickly looked from left to right wondering if anyone else was sufficiently alarmed. Her waiting room companions were not impressed, or even interested. I can think of gentler times a grown woman could be introduced to special affects. Still, I’m tickled by an image of my mother desperately wanting to “oh me” and “oh my” with someone, anyone, and being left to feel, for a split second, that everyone around her had missed a miracle.
Stitches were out of the question. I ended up with a well wrapped finger in a splint, a television and a funny story, that is, if you’d seen my mother’s face on the other side of the back door (and you were me).

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