David DiSilva

My First Memory

The scars from my fall on the cool April morning still linger on my forehead until this day.  It was nine years ago, but it still feels as if it were yesterday. The air is crisp and the breeze from the woods sends shivers through my bones. The ominous Harrington Elementary jungle gym has long passed its glory years. Its wood is now splintered and threatening screeches ring out as small students run across its planks. Sections of rust emerge through the red paint which once covered the slide.  Sharp pebbles cover the ground below the jungle gym.  The pebbles, which act as the hard bedding to the fall, are as ancient as the jungle gym itself.   

The long snowy winter of my kindergarten year has finally passed allowing me to enjoy the jungle gym I think to be the best in the world.  Arriving promptly for early morning recess, I find myself included in the exclusive game of tag which is held each day. My elusiveness allows me to avoid being “it.”   Dodging and weaving through the taggers, I find myself in the top corner of the jungle gym. I turn to evaluate the situation and it appears the boy who is “it” is pushing his way through a sea of children to get to the top corner.  Panic set in and I am left with two paths for which to escape.  In front of me is a worn down rusty slide and to my left is a worn down rusty fire pole.  The slide is already occupied so my only route for escape is the fire pole.  I have my two hands on the pole and am ready to safely slide down when a strong push from behind startles me and sends me off the jungle gym prematurely. The strong push made me lose control of both my body and my hands that once held a tight grip on the fire pole.  And so began my short descent, my body now fully detached from the fire pole. 

I hit the ground head first.  The pebbles dig into the side of my face and spill crimson blood all over the ground.  I let out a monstrous screech that is heard by recess aids standing a hundred yards away.  The rest of the children still have ten minutes to play, but my recess is over.  I am helped to the nurse’s office where I sat with my head numb for an hour clotting blood and icing my face.  My head is now pounding and I felt in no way ready to be sent back to class as the nurse had suggested.  My time had run out for lying on the bed in the nurse’s office.  I am ordered out of the nurses office and back to class immediately.

I am walking out the door of the nurse’s office when the mother of a sick child stops me and quizzically stares at my forehead.  I stand there frightened, not knowing what this woman is thinking until she speaks “Oh my lord, he’s got some pebbles in his head.”  The nurse shot over to take a look, how she missed it during the hour I was sitting in her office is beyond me.  The nurse quickly became serious about the whole situation and calls my mother. 

The car ride down route 128 to Woburn Pediatrics is the worst car ride of my life.  So many thoughts, mostly irrational, all of which leading to great pain or death fill my head.  It is a struggle not to touch the two pebbles protruding out of my forehead.  My mother constantly slaps my hands down throughout the ride.  My panic is overwhelming and without my mother there to guide me I don’t know what could have happened to me. 

I am asked to lie down on a small operating table.  Three doctors surround me.  The one standing farthest away held a giant needle.  The needle is much bigger and more venomous than anything I have seen before.  My hands are clinched and I let out loud yelps as the doctor administered the Novocain into my forehead.  The pebbles are removed and stitches are tied in place.  I walk out of that doctor’s office with a great story to tell my friends and an unbearable headache.   



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