December 9, 2019
Mom got the mother load of all splinters. She almost fainted. We live in a hundred year old house. That means the wood floors are also one hundred years old. In the winter, the wood becomes more brittle. And mom’s thick winter socks got caught and BAM.
The splinter went in deep. Mom could see the dark shadow of the splinter. She could see it hovering beneath the thick layer of skin at the ball of her left foot. Like a large fish might hover in the murky waters of a pond.
Mom had to hobble over to get some tweezers and a needle. As she quietly sat, trying to pry open her skin so that her body would give up the intruder, mom thought of the splinters she used to get when she was young.
When mom was a girl, she knew to go to her dad. Granddad would go so gently, so softly, so carefully, that you barely felt any pain. I know he didn’t but mom says it was almost like he was singing to her. The thing was that it took FOREVER to get the fucker out. But there was little pain.
If mom went to grandma, it would be short, but brutal. Dig, dig, dig, pinch, pull and the splinter was out.
Mom felt she liked granddad’s method better. Mom felt that granddad understood pain and honored it. Whereas grandma was, “fuck pain. You don’t even want to know what pain is. Come here and let’s do this.”
Today, mom hovered somewhere between grandma and granddad’s methods: mom went in directly and forcefully, but gave herself breaks as needed. When mom finally pulled out the 50 year old bass of a splinter, blood gushed out and dropped into the floor.
Mom put a bandaid on muttered to herself, “I am so grateful it was me who got the splinter. If it was anyone else in, they would have insisted on going to the ER.” She is not naming any names. (Dad. And maybe Jungmin. I can imagine dad saying: can you put me under?)
At least mom isn’t the only drama queen in this household.