I attended a writing retreat last January. One of the workshops was about writing biographies and memoirs, and the woman leading the workshop gave us several prompts. One of those prompts was to write about how we got our scars. This is what i wrote that day:
The scar on my left index finger was incurred during an unbelievable bout of stupidity. I had been painstakingly whittling something for weeks, despite having no whittling talent or training and nothing but a battered Swiss Army knife to work with.
But it was my latest obsession, and i took any and every opportunity to work on it.
One day, we were at a stoplight. I knew it was a long light, so i pulled out my tools. So engrossed was i in my work that i didn't see the light change. The old Ford Windstar minivan started moving with a lurch, and the knife blade slid smoothly into my finger.
I stared at it for a moment, watching the blood bubble up around the blade. It had gone in horizontally and lay under my skin. Then it clicked: i had a knife in my finger and it hurt.
I don't remember what i said to my dad to alert him to the emergency. I do remember him yelling at me as he tried to find a place to pull over. Our first aid kit was empty except for Band-aid wrappers and some calamine lotion. Dad found an old Sunday school paper to wrap around my finger until we got home.
I never finished whittling that thing. I think it was going to be a doll. I've long since lost both the block of wood and the knife, but the scar is still visible as a pale, slightly curved line on my left index finger.