That Almond Smell
by Aaron Dewolf

When I was younger I rode my bike alot. I was a typical boy, always doing tricks and showing off. I learned to show off for the people who would respond most favorably and that person usually was my mom.

So, one day I was riding around and my mom came driving down the street in her minivan. I though I would be cool and play chicken with her. So I took off pedaling as fast as I could right for her. I was riding a bike I found in the trash and pieced together. Not because I couldn't have a brand new bike. The one I got out of the trash was a nice BMX but my neighbor's dad made him throw it away because he stole it and put a cheezy neon green paint job on it. Morals shmorals... j/k.

I'm pedaling full speed in the middle of the street towards my mom and the chain decides to come off, releasing 150 pounds of pressure. The pressure my legs were putting on the pedals had to nowhere to go so they just spun around causing my right leg to fly off and touch the ground. Going as fast as I was, I wasn't able to just stop. I flew over my handle bars and proceeded to the pavement below.

This pavement wasn't any old blacktop, though. It was a speacialized chipped gravel mix guaranteed to make tires grip the road and mince any soft material that came into contact with it. And that is exactly what happened. For some crazy reason my right elbow came down first instead of my hand. The gravel top gouged into by elbow, peeling back the thin layer of skin there. This pretty much broke my fall.

Stunned but not yet in pain, I picked up my bike and limped to my front yard. I was holding my elbow up. My mom who is a nurse took one look and immediately showered love and concern as any mother would. She said I was as pale as a sheet, but I couldn't tell. She said I would need stitches. I was in no mood to go get stiches as I already had a healthy dose of adrenaline running through my system and also a bit of hurt pride to boot.

I went inside and played with my trains until about 9:00 pm that night when my mom wanted to look at the wound again. It was a gash about an inch wide that went all the way to the bone. She decided that I had to have stitches and my dad took me to the hospital. We waited in there and I got plenty of comments from people. Their reactions were that of amusement. Probably because I fit the stereotypical daredevil kid who got what he had coming to him. And when I think about it now, even I get a warm, fuzzy feeling in me, probably not unlike those people did.

But it gets better.

The doctor cleaned it up and put stitches in it. Then he wrapped it up with about 45 feet of bandage. I almost couldn't get my shirt sleeve over it. This was fine because everyone noticed it at school and I got lots of attention. It was not cool when they found out that I got it by falling off my bike.

Because of this huge bandage the wound never got any air and stayed moist and gooey. It started to smell like almonds. I can still remember that smell. My mom finally said no more bandages so the wound could scab over. It did.

Then one day me and my brother and some kids were playing a rousing game of kick box soccer. I got a little too rough with my brother so he decided to open up a can of woop ass on me. He tripped me so hard I kind of did a see-saw action in mid air and went down hard... on my right elbow. I could almost hear a ripping sound and felt some sharp pain there. Yep, the wound was totally ripped open. So more almond smell for a couple weeks.

Then it was better and I took the stitches out myself. I highly recommend you try this yourself if you ever get the chance. It was highly entertaining for me to be able to snip and tug out string that was intertwined with a thick, brownish scab.

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