Saturday, May 29, 2010

Face Plant

One chilly Tuesday morning in High School, I was running late for 1st period. I whipped into the parking lot in my white ’88 Accord with the dope spoiler, moon roof and 16-inch alloy rims. DC Talk was bumpin’ on my jury rigged 12-inch sub-woofer. I screeched into one of the last available parking spaces, grabbed my Jansport and took off sprinting toward the building in my un-tied New Balance 992s. I was thirty yards from the building when I ditched the sidewalk and cut across the icy, snow-covered grass. Heading down a small hill, I slipped on the ice, stepped out of one shoe, and went careening down the hill face first. My loaded backpack flung over my head and, boom, slammed my face into the concrete around a rainwater drain. My head bounced. Stunned, I popped up and wiggled my face to feel the damage. It didn’t seem that bad. I brushed off and hurried into the building.

Knowing I had to walk in the door, in the front of the classroom, after the bell had rung, I composed myself with a five second pep talk. Play it cool. Be confident and respectful. Hold your shoulders tall and smile. Open the door quietly. Take the most efficient route to an open desk and sit down. If the teacher says anything, apologize genuinely with “I’m sorry I’m late” and leave it at that. No excuses.

Now cool, calm, and collected, I quietly opened the door. Immediately, my whole pep talk went to… My classmates’ faces showed a mix of shock, concern, and amusement. The teacher said, “Run to the bathroom. You’re bleeding.” I touched my face and felt, then saw, gobs of blood. I walked casually to the bathroom. In the mirror I saw HUGE, bright red wounds on my face along with several other scratches. Then, I saw two wet, muddy spots on my Abercrombie and Fitch cargo pants. My palms were also cut up quite a bit. I guess the combo of adrenaline and endorphins had made me temporarily oblivious to the pain I had put my body in. The face wounds were the kind where portions of my face were actually left on the concrete slab. I didn’t even want to touch them to wash them. I wet some stinky paper towels and dabbed the wounds, but there wasn’t much I could do. I cleaned up as best I could and made the shameful walk back to class, headache in full force.

The whole day and for several days after I had to answer the same question, “What happened?” I kept it fresh and created several epic scenarios as explanations, eventually telling them I slipped on ice while running to class. The following Friday night was Backwards Homecoming - the night where guys, not gals, are selected to walk awkwardly on a basketball court during halftime of a game as some sort of honor. I was on the Backwards Homecoming Court, face strawberries and all. Halftime rolls around, we line up, they call our names and we walk out in front of 1500 people while they clap and cheer (Wow, it's even more bizarre than I thought at the time). It's your moment in the little spotlight. You wear your best clothes, shave, wash your face and practice the perfect smile. And here I am with some giant strawberries on my face. Luckily, I had a pretty little lady on my left arm to distract from the way I looked. She went by the name Ashley Rose.

That was over 10 years ago and I still have that same pretty little lady on my left arm, and our son in my right.

Happy 6th, Angel. You're really good at being my wife. And now, a mommy too.


  1. nice story...big daddy.

  2. HAHAHAHAHA! I have to tell you that last week, we were in Salt Lake City for Matt's sisters wedding. Two days before, we were playing at a park where Oliver took a dive and as you said it, "the sidewalk won!" I told that story all weekend b/c he had a huge scab all across his nose for all the wedding pictures! (You played it off very well from what I could tell!) How funny that it's on your blog today, and I happened to check it out! Love you guys, Happy Anniversary! :-)

  3. Love this picture! Happy Anniversary! Love you guys!

  4. Micah and Bumber, Thanks.

    Mel, Good stuff. Just like a boy to mess up his face before some important pictures.

  5. Great post Blake....I do remember that day at West Forsyth!!!
    We love you all so much and hope you are both having a special #6 Anniversary along with that special little addition to your family this year. Blessings!!! Love you, Lolli and Pops

  6. Happy Anniversary to a wonderful family!

    And I'm genuinely sorry your face has never recovered.