My Broken Face

by Herschel

“I need a dentist!” I screamed as my dad carried me up the stairs to the kitchen. I had been riding my bike around the neighborhood, trying out my new found freedom on two wheels. I was trying to imitate the older kids by popping wheelies when instead of a successful wheelie, I found myself landing teeth first on the concrete. I was six years old. My teeth had chipped and my gums split open. I lay there on the sidewalk facedown in a growing pool of my own blood, whimpering in pain.

I had no strength to get up, the wind knocked out of me on impact, and the shock of my situation affecting my cognitive ability. Thankfully a neighbor happened to out watering her flowers when I crashed in front of her house. I was only four houses down from my own, but it seemed like miles. She picked me up and carried me home. My dad took me from her and rushed me upstairs to get me cleaned up. I was finally coming to and screaming for help, for my mom, for a dentist. It was a scene.

We were able to get a dentist to see me and I had my first ever x-ray. The dentist, I don’t even remember his name, fixed me up. For four days I had two fat lips and looked like I had been in a fight with Mike Tyson.

And yet, the first thing I wanted to do was get back on my bike, to ride, and feel the wind in my face. At the time there was nothing I loved more than speeding down the hill at the end of the block. My parents made me take a break to heal, but it killed me. I begged every day to get back out there.

I haven’t rode a bike in over 15 years. This thing that meant so much to me that I was willing to risk life and limb and face, gone from my life completely. It’s funny to me, that we can change our interests so much. We throw away years of our life and turn on a dime for the next best thing. And the things we once loved fade away.