Welcome back for Part 2 of a four-part series on (as the title suggests) “Objects I Have Been Hit In the Head With.” This next object made contact with my head a year and a half after the previous one (a vintage 1970s stacked heel boot). And believe you me, this next object was a good deal heavier and a lot scarier than being clobbered with a stylish piece of footwear.
Spring 1991 – A Door Off Its Hinges
There I was, sprawled out on the floor of my room with textbooks scattered around me. I had my headphones on, listening to the radio while studying for English and History exams with the door to my room open.
Actually, the door wasn’t so much open, as it was off its hinges.
A week before I found myself caught up in the mania of finals, the loose hinges on my bedroom door finally gave way and creaked themselves away from the doorjamb. Getting in and out of my room became a humongous pain in the ass. To avoid becoming trapped in my room, Dad took the door off the hinges and made an appointment with our apartment complex’s maintenance men to replace the hinges and the door.
For the time being, the door to my room was propped up against an edge of the door frame.
While the door off its hinges wasn’t in all that precarious a position, I was still bummed. To avoid them being mangled and manhandled by the maintenance men who would replace the door in their own sweet time, I had to remove the carefully-arranged collage of metal pin-ups on my door. (Unlike Slut Friend from Part 1 of this saga, I did not hide smokes and dollar bills behind my posters. Also unlike Slut Friend, my mother relegated my metal posters to the inside door of my room, barring them from clashing with the pastel decor.)
Another even more annoying aspect of the unhinged door was the lack of privacy. There are certain things preteen girls like to do in the privacy of their own room after watching an episode of Phil Donahue featuring Chippendales dancers. (Like putting on sock-puppet re-enactments of these choreographed routines.)
I wasn’t banking on the door posing yet another more painful problem in the very near future.
One night, I was deeply entrenched in my studies. My younger brother, however, was feeling all sorts of rambunctious and did not care about my 6th grade GPA.
Armed with a Nerf basketball and hoop, he wanted to not only use my now-portable door to set up shop for a spirited round of B-ball, but was hell bent on enlisting me in a game of one-on-one.
“Sorry, dude,” I said, removing my headphones for a moment. “I gotta study.”
“You’ve been studying all week. Play some Nerf,” he insisted.
Possessing the coordination and athletic skill of a drunken antelope, I was grateful to lean on my schoolwork as an excuse not to play.
“I can’t. I gotta get some stuff done.”
While not the most understanding of siblings, my brother was certainly among the most persistent.
Since I wasn’t going to interrupt my studies of my own volition, he was going to do it for me.
He walked over to where I was seated on the floor and yanked the headphones out of my stereo. Top 40 radio blared from its FM frequency into the room.
I plugged my headphones — the shitty dollar store kind that would break if you so much as farted on them — back into the jack and stared at my text book.
My brother repeated his actions, this time, singing along with the song on the radio while jumping off my bed and performing split-legged jumps that would make David Lee Roth green with envy.
I have to admit, it was pretty entertaining.
I made the mistake of chuckling at his antics. This only encouraged him further.
The split-legged jumps and off-key singing of Top 40 hits continued. At the time, they included jams by Color Me Badd — with two “D”‘s. That’s important. — and C+C Music Factory. My brother kept jumping up and down on my bed screaming “Everybody dance now! / Sweat! / Swea-ette!”
As entertaining as it was, the floor show had to stop.
“Dude! Mom is going to kick my ass if she sees my bedspread wrinkled like that!”
It was true. Mom used to iron our bedspreads and forbade us from sitting on them. Hence, my sitting on the floor and studying. Once, Mom caught me sitting on my bed while talking to one of my friends on the phone. No one ever believed me about the bedspread thing until one night, one of my friends heard Mom yell “What the hell did I tell you about sitting on your bed!?” over the phone, expecting it to be followed by “NO WIRE HANGERS!!!”
“I know Mom’s going to kick your ass if she sees the wrinkles,” he said with a smug smirk. “That’s why you should play some Nerf with me now.”
I was really irritated now. “Just fuck off,” I replied, rolling my eyes.
That did it. Not telling my brother to “fuck off.” I used to say that to him with such frequency it rolled right off his back. Actually, he thought my frequent “fuck offs” were funny.
No. I had committed a cardinal sin when I rolled my eyes at him. If there was one thing then — and now — that aggravates my brother to the point of unbridled madness, it’s someone rolling their eyes at him.
“Fine,” he said, prancing out of my room, Nerf ball and hoop in-hand. “Have fun studying.”
I expected to hear the heavy slam of a door on his way out as I slapped my headphones back on.
That’s when I remembered that the door to my room was off its hinges, teetering against the frame.
The last thing I heard was an evil, prepubescent laugh before the door came crashing down on my head.
Suddenly, I knew how Wile E. Coyote felt as the unhinged door connected with the top of my head. One of the last things to pass through my head — besides the door — was “This would be funnier if my brother spray painted ‘Acme’ on the door.”
The flimsy dollar store headphones didn’t really absorb the impact too well.
I could barely move, managing to call out a weak “Motherfucker! You fucking son of a bitch!” into the other room. I was definitely shaken and my head was sore, but I was alright. Obviously, since my ability to string together a bunch of swear words had not been impaired.
I probably should have taken my parents up on the offer to go to the hospital and get checked out. Fortunately, even though I was figuratively hard-headed about not going to the hospital, my literal hard head ensured I would be okay.
Instead, I removed the elastic from my ponytail, shaking out my hair and allowing the gigantic bump forming on top of my head some room to breathe as I ran my palm over it. I was half-expecting to see a trail of blood start leaking between my eyes, but fortunately, my hard head had prevailed and there were no concussions and no blood to be had that night — much to my brother’s dismay.
Also to his dismay was the severe ass-whooping he received from Mom and Dad that night.
I don’t think he was trying to kill me, though. As an eight-year-old attention whore, he just thought it would be funny. (And in hindsight — especially since I wasn’t injured — it was pretty funny.)
Aside from the massive goose egg on my head, I was fine. I even managed to get a desk out the deal so I didn’t have to do my homework on the floor anymore. (I learned at a young age, that humiliating acts such as shitting my pants in public and getting whacked in the head with a 25-lb. oak door resulted in getting some cool stuff for free.)
It’s good to have a really hard head.