There are very few people who can say they have accidentally altered their body in a permanent way. Other than a distant relative living in Canada who has only one eye my friends and acquaintances remain wholly intact. I, however, am among those few who have accidentally altered their body in a more or less permanent fashion. Do not mistake this declaration for boasting as, more often than not, those permanently disfigured have become so by idiocy.
When I was six years old, living in Euless, Texas, with my family and new baby brother, I had an adventurous group of friends. We explored the woods not far from my home, without first disclosing our location to our parents, could often be found jumping from the second bunk of a bunk bed onto bean bags below, and to this day, though I do not remember why, are banned from a certain Wal-Mart in the Dallas, Texas region.
It should come as no surprise then that one afternoon, with not much to do; we decided we would join the circus, each specializing in a certain talent we wanted to learn. My friend Casey wanted to be a trapeze artist, his younger brother Ricky wanted to train lions, and I wanted to walk the tightrope. As we did not have lions or a high pole from which to rig up a trapeze swing but did have rope we could string across a three foot section of tall fencing, it was only natural that I develop my skill first.
I decided my tightrope walking act would be revolutionary so, after Ricky and Casey strung the rope across the fence, holding it tight, I instructed the fourth member of our group, Josh, to begin hitting the rope with a plastic bat. I climbed the fence, a good six feet tall, took one step and fell headfirst onto the fence latch which for some reason, in Texas, was on the ground.
I now have a dimple under my left eye that can be seen when I smile or scrunch up my face and had not been present before my foray into the circus world. Needless to say my friends scattered like the rodents they were, my parents were merely relieved I was able to keep my eye, and now a picture of the vicious swelling and bruising of my face hangs in the entryway to my parent's home. My mother tells anyone who will listen it is, to date, her favorite picture of her oldest son.