I don't exactly remember how old I was when I decorated the inside of the box transforming it from being an ordinary cardboard refrigerator box into my own little world. My mother and father had just purchased a new refrigerator and I claimed the empty box as a playhouse. I remember it seeming like it was huge inside so given the length of my ever-growing, lanky legs, I couldn't have been more than 7 or 8 years old.
I worked diligently on coloring and drawing all over the inside of the box while the outside stayed deceptively plain. I invited my friends one by one to visit me inside the box. Everyone seemed thoroughly impressed by the wonderland I had created and they put their own mark in it as well by drawing a little something on the wall. Because the box was too large to stay inside the house, my mother made me keep it beside the house in an area of the yard that the separated my house from my cousin's house.
Each day I would race outside to check on my box and each day it was still there untouched. And then it happened! One morning I raced outside after eating breakfast and it had rained sometime in the night. When I tried to crawl inside the box, it collapsed on me. It probably was a funny sight to see a huge cardboard box with a set of skinny legs sticking out.
My cousin, Debbie laughed hysterically at me. I kept thinking that she's laughing at me because I hadn't invited her inside the box. The longer she laughed the more it hurt my feelings. The more it hurt my feelings, the angrier I got. Finally, I accepted my refuge was gone forever and I stomped back to my house breathing fire as I went. All I could hear was laughter resonating in my ears as my anger quietly boiled over. When I went to shut the kitchen door, I slammed it as hard as I could. When I did that, I put my hand through a pane of glass.
I immediately had a "uh oh" moment when I looked down and saw glass all over the kitchen floor. I knew I was going to get in big trouble for it. I hated my mother yelling and so did the whole neighborhood. I knew this little fiasco was going to stir her wrath. There was no way I'd catch a break and she'd just let me slide. She didn't let anything slide! Maybe a miracle would happen and I would become deaf so I wouldn't have to hear her yell. The odd thing about it was that I was completely oblivious to the fact that my hand and arm was bleeding from getting cut on the broken glass as I pulled my arm back through the door. While I bled, all that seemed to concern me was having my mother yell at me, having to face my cousin, Debbie again and being embarassed from having the whole neighborhood know what stupid thing I had done now as my mother announced it like she was yelling through a megaphone at a football game.
It wasn't until my mother came running to see what all the commotion was and her bellowing, "What in hell have you done, Karen?" (an understatement, no doubt or maybe just a premonition of my misadventures ahead) that I realized I had been physically hurt. All my pain until then was internal. She attended to my cuts first which weren't too bad before cleaning up the mess I had made. The bandages on my arm made my injuries look alot worse than what they really were. My wounds didn't require a trip to the doctor or stitches, but the gauze bandages that decorated my right arm was a constant reminder of what a dumbass I was. I still invoked laughter each time I saw my cousin for days after that. Each time it still hurt to be laughed at, but each time I got a little tougher until it didn't matter anymore. I may not have found a way to turn my hearing off, but I certainly found a way to turn my heart off so it would stop hurting. That discovery was a Godsend to me !