How Indy Scarred Me
by Elizabeth Badurina
It was my thirty-seventh time.
I knew this because I had a notebook at home that I'd carefully scratched in the hatchmarks -- one for each time, meticulously recording every place, every person I was with, what the weather was like, the new observations I'd made that time.
By now, I knew "Raiders of the Lost Ark" by heart.
Harrison Ford was capable of distracting me from whatever I was doing. He was the sexiest man I'd ever seen. For a boycrazy nine-year-old, that was saying a lot.
This time, I'd gone with my friend Carmen. She didn't have the same appreciation for it that I had, and she couldn't stand the way I quoted the dialogue from memory, along with the characters on the screen.
The movie ended, and I insisted on staying through the credits. Carmen huffed and scoffed, but waited with me. After all, it was my mom that was coming to pick us up. She didn't really have a choice.
"Isn't Harrison Ford just a total -babe-?" I said to her while we made our way out.
She grumbled something obscene. I just rolled my eyes and walked, blinking from the bright afternoon sun, toward the kiosk where the movie posters were displayed. I wanted to ogle the illustration of Indy one more time.
The kiosk was about six feet high, two feet thick, made of metal and lit from within so that the movie posters would be illuminated. along one side, the word "THEATER" was cut from the metal, to advertise the movie theaters' location.
"Isn't that your mom?" Carmen said, looking across the parking lot at the street.
Startled from my latest romantic reverie (starring Harrison, of course), I hightailed it for the curb, feeling guilty for the soap operatic thoughts running through my head, most of them involving a lot of heavy-duty kissing. I didn't know what sex was yet, really.
It wasn't my mom. I turned a hard left, skidding to a halt, hitting my left hand on the kiosk. I barely noticed....my Catholic soul was feeling too guilty.
"My mom's car is -tan-, Carmen."
When she didn't answer, I turned to look at her. She had turned pale as a ghost.
"What?" I asked, feeling something sting and trickle on my hand all of a sudden.
"Your...your....your -hand-....you're BLEEDING...."
I looked down at my hand. A gash, about two inches long and an inch wide had split the skin. The blood was starting to well along the edges.
"Oh, -cool-!" I exclaimed, making a fist. "You can see my -muscle- move!"
Carmen looked like she might faint. I was intrigued. My nine-year-old sensibilities kicked in, though, when the bleeding started in earnest.
"I should get a band aid." I went inside. Carmen pattered along behind me, noting with every few steps that I was leaving a trail of red behind me.
Behind the ticket booth, a bored-looking teenager told me without looking up that there weren't any band-aids.
"But I cut myself on your sign...." I held my hand up, getting blood on the counter in the process. "It's making a mess and my mom'll be here soon. She'll kill me if I get any on my good shirt." (I always dressed up for Indy. You never knew when he'd decide to come to Norfolk, Nebraska to talk to his adoring fans.)
The girl looked up and blanched.
"I can see my muscles move. Or I could, before the blood started."
She yelped. The mostly-useless, blue-shirt-clad manager appeared and whisked me away, muttering over and over to the dispassionate youth about how he was sorry and why didn't she bring me inside, I was only a child for crissake. To me, he apologized and asked me to tell my mother that they'd pay for the stitches if we didn't sue. He'd lose his job, he said.
The disinterested girl brought my mother in, and the muttering manager focused on her while patting my hand clean with a rag.
"It's the kids. They pick at the letters of the sign and the metal edges stick out. We file them down constantly. We'd be happy to pay for any medical expenses for stitches."
"I don't WANT stitches," I piped up.
"It'll leave a scar if there aren't stitches, and what boy will want to take a girl to the prom with big scars on her hands?" It was my mother's attempt at logic.
Indy was the only boy for me. And he had scars.
All I really wanted was a band aid.
The manager gave me free passes for the rest of the summer instead. I saw "Raiders" every day until school started.
I think the scar was a small price to pay.