Explaining bruises

As I mentioned yesterday, this weekend I fell and banged up my face. Max and two of my friends were there when I landed, face-first, on the concrete.

I have a bruise under my eye and my lip is swollen. My knee hurts, so I’m walking funny.

A friend suggested yesterday that “Max might appreciate a new-found respect among the neighborhood cafones” as a result of my injuries. And I have noticed some people looking at me with concern, right before they eye him with distaste.

Something you should know: I’m so pale that in the sun my legs look like they belong to a dead person. Really. They’re bluish.

In one of his best short stories, Junot Diaz describes some pale “Eurofucks” who look like they washed up on the beach. I’m not European, but my skin fits the part.

And the paleness isn’t from lack of trying, believe me. I grew up in Miami, land of the year-round tan. But even though I basted myself with baby oil and tried everything, from overdosing on weird vitamins and pouring beer on my body, to developing sun poisoning, I never got dark. The best I ever achieved was the normal color of someone who never goes to the beach. And lots of freckles.

But I digress.

Those of you who are not melanin-challenged may not know that fair skin bruises easily. And we’ve been packing for the big move to Greenpoint next Monday, so I have bruises all over the place.

Last Tuesday I showed up for my writing class with a fist-sized bruise on my arm. And, since my bruises don’t phase me, I wore a tank top.

“Oh my God, where did you get that bruise?” one of my classmates asked, before class.

“Who knows? I bruise like a peach,” I said.

“That’s a nasty bruise,” someone else said.

I turned to my friend Emma, who was looking on with concern, and made the inevitable joke: “Oh, well, you know. Max gets out of hand sometimes. But only when I deserve it.”

Those who had assembled laughed nervously.

Since we all sit around a large table, everyone was sure to notice the bruise at one point or another during the two hours that we sat there.

My writing class meets again this evening.

When I show up, I will be limping slightly and bearing a reddish bruise under my eye and a healing but scratched and puffy lip. I will wear different glasses, since my usual ones were destroyed in the fall.

What should I say when my classmates ask me to explain my injuries?

Here are some possibilities:

“I tangled with a cop at the peace protest on Saturday and he kicked me in the face.” (From Antigeist.)

“I love to take Max out for his birthday, but when he has that much to drink, this is always a possibility.” (From Koalelu.)

“I need a new pimp. A girl can’t do business like this.” (From Hands Free.)

“Who the fuck did that nun think she was anyways, asking me for a donation for the ‘needy children’?” (From Virge.)

“The first rule is, don’t talk about Fight Club.”

If you have any other suggestions, send them to maud[at]miamistories.com.

And thanks to all who have sent email to wish me a speedy recovery. I’ll write back soon, promise.

Update: My knee hurts too much for me to shlep up to City College. So I’m going to skip class, go home, and ice the knee.


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