Once I badly burned myself trying to fry bananas in the dark.
I unknowingly poured an inch of oil into the pan and then tossed in the bananas.
The oil flew up and scalded the lower left of my jaw. I was terrified that I would
be mutilated for life. Marilyn immediately looked around for a leaf of lettuce but
since no lettuce could be found, she taped a piece of cabbage to my cheek.
This, she assured me, would heal it better than any ointment. Her pastor had told her this.

Frustrated and mortified, I burst into tears. Still, she refused to take me to the hospital.
My father was off in France for a month. I tried to call him. No one answered.
My jaw turned a deep ulcerous violet. Finally we went to the local pharmacist.

A month later, the scab tore off in two pieces. Beneath it was new skin,
crumpled and silky like the petals of poppies. It was as if it were all
a very bad dream.

My father looked at my face carefully."There's something different about you.
I can't quite place it. You look healthier."
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