brian_clareyThe stitches came out over the weekend, leaving a two-inch scar along my left brow as my only tangible souvenir from our Caribbean cruise.

That, and a sky-blue lanyard with anchors on it.

But I’ll take the scar, which has given my face an off-fleekness that I find appealing. My children agree that it is so badass that it looks like I might have done it on purpose, giving the impression of being earned in circumstances way more dire than was actually the case.

In fact, I was motoring from the chow-line buffet at the helm of the ship to the taco bar along the port side when an automatic glass door — so clean! — did not fulfill its intended function. Later, a ship security guard took a photo of the smeared impression of my face, left Shroud of Turin-like on the surface.

A mishap on a cruise ship may be the queen mother of all personal injuries, or so my maritime lawyer tells me. But I feel like I’ve already gotten something out of this deal.

It’s not the first time I’ve busted my head open — there’s another scar on my forehead that I blame on a live cover of “Hot for Teacher” by my favorite band, and still another that I acquired on my 26th birthday at a bar called Snake & Jake’s Christmas Club Lounge while wearing an actual lampshade on my head. Ironically, I assure you.

Later, a ship security guard took a photo of the smeared impression of my face, left Shroud of Turin-like on the surface.

But this knock on the head, unlike so many others before it, seems to have had a positive effect.

Maybe this is the vertigo talking, but ever since my face bashed into that thick glass door I’ve felt lighter… less anxious… more centered. After a couple years on the grind at full speed, I’m moving more deliberately, and not just because I’m worried that I’ll walk into something again. I feel like I’m finally seeing things clearly — which of course I mean figuratively, because since the incident my actual eyesight has been a little bit off.

And if ever I forget this rosy state of mind brought on by my serendipitous head trauma, I’ll always have the scar to remind me. It looks pretty badass, as I’ve probably mentioned, which is a good thing, because it’s possible my eyebrow will never grow back. I may be looking at it for a while.

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