I hope a CSI team never inspects my home. Not that I have a crime to hide, of course. But I fear circumstantial evidence.
Did you ever see the TV movie "In a Child's Name", with Valerie Bertinelli and Christopher Meloni trying to get custody of Valerie's dead sister's baby? Sis was dispatched by her husband, one mean, shady Michael Ontkean, who smashed her skull with his workout weights. You don't actually see the murder. Just the evidence. To wit, Mean Mike's folks come to morally support him, and sleep in his home. As Louise Fletcher and her lesser-known TV-movie husband are tucking in for the night, they kill the lights, and the entire freaking room glows from the blood-finding chemical the cops sprayed around on the taxpayers' dime. I still get chills when I think about that glow. All over the floor, the walls, the ceiling. Even Louise was ready to lock up Mean Mike and throw away the key, as long as she could get custody of that baby.
My house would glow.
Twenty minutes before noon, when he should have been getting ready to leave for his bowling league, Genius sidled up behind me. "Look at this." That's not unusual. It happens five or six times a day. Usually he wants to show me a photo he's taken, or some new gadget that he simply must have, at that very moment, with a promise to pay me in installments until his next high-paying consulting job. But today was different.
"What? I don't have my glasses on."
"Now don't get excited. It's going to bleed a lot when I take the paper towel off."
"Was it another Horrifying X-Acto Knife Accident?"
"No. I just sliced my thumb on a piece of metal. I was taking out the fried hard drive to put in my new one."
"How deep is that? Wait! Don't pull it apart!"
"Pretty deep. About halfway through."
"I once sliced my thumb right there on the joint, down to the shiny white cartilage, trying to open a cassette tape case. It bled a lot. But it healed. No stitches. I can take you to Urgent Care. I think they can sew people up. But they're going to jam a painkilling needle all around it."
"I know. That makes it hurt more to think about it."
"PONY! Go to the barn and get Dad. Tell him Genius cut his thumb. It's not an emergency. We just need his advice." The Pony ran like the wind. Hick strolled over to the house at his leisure.
"Naw. That'll heal. SuperGlue it, and you can bowl, too. I've SuperGlued my fingers many a time. And they're fine."
"But it's his right hand. He could be affected for life."
"Mom. I'm left-handed."
"Oh. But you bowl right-handed."
"I'm not going bowling today. I'll just stick a Band-Aid on it. I'm not using that liquid skin stuff that Dad used last time. It said it expired in 2004."
Genius bandaged his wound and took off for Grandma's house to soak up high-speed internet. I put his injury out of my mind until I went to grab a paper towel. The next one was marked with the blood of Genius. I have a feeling his room might also have samples of his blood, after today and the X-Acto incident last year.
Then there's the infamous kitchen gymnastics routine when he was in elementary school. Thank goodness The Pony is a proper tattletale. "Um. Mom? I think Genius hurt himself. His hands are full of blood." I would have preferred that he stayed in the kitchen rather than traipse over the carpet. Did you know that when teeth slice through a bottom lip, stitches are not needed unless the cut goes through the lip border? It's true. That thing will heal up on its own. But beware the bubbles and water that leak out of it when the walking wounded tries to drink.
The Pony knows how much mouth wounds bleed. He smashed his on a Little Tikes car. Only a popsicle would stop the screaming. And the bleeding. That time he split his head open on the newel post thanks to Genius letting him win a game of tug-of-war with a bathrobe belt, he had the good sense to roll up like a burrito in a Scooby Doo sleeping bag. So there was just a minimal trail to his room. And he's outgrown that mattress.
We're all glad that when Genius busted his eyebrow wide open in a T-shaped gash at basketball practice, the fountain flowed on the gym floor, in the locker room, up the stairs, and in my classroom. Because we didn't need any more evidence soaking into the carpet at home.
Life. It's as messy as TV death.