"It's easy for people to joke about scars if they've never been cut."
When I was still in elementary school I got a panicked call from my mom.
“I’m taking your dad to the hospital!” she shrieked, in that shrill voice only a first generation Asian American could be all too familiar with. My adolescent heart sank a little. Maybe all of those donuts and twinkies he was notorious for eating finally caught up with him, and he dropped to the floor with a heart attack, or even worse he got showered with hot fryer oil and would need skin grafts. They came home later that night, his thumb gauzed and wrapped in a finger cast. That was the first memory I thought of when I told my parents I was working in a restaurant, and sure enough it was the first example they threw at me as to why I shouldn’t be spending my nights in a kitchen - I could cut off my thumb with a meat slicer.
I’ve become more determined as ever to prove them wrong, save a few burns on my forearm. Otherwise, I like to think I’ve had a relatively bandage free track record, until yesterday. It was 6PM, and a rush had caught us by surprise. 8 orders for the endive and pear salad magically sprouted out of nowhere and onto my board. I was furiously shaving away at a mountain of pears on the mandoline to make them go away, while looking at the printer out of the corner of my eye. Roasted beet salad, a tartare, and a early passionfruit tar – shit.
Blood was all over the mandoline, and my thumb was stinging like a motherf*cker. It was nothing needing urgent medical attention, but annoying enough to be a pain in the ass the rest of the night. I hastily slapped a glove on and sanitized the station so I could clear my board. Everytime I’d walk past the hotline the brushes of heat would cause my hand to throb. As I felt the thumb of my glove fill up with more blood from my improperly cared for knick, the only thing I could laugh at was how I had finally got my first cut.