Head Bonks

At step aerobics class today, Frida pulled herself up on someone else’s mother’s step and proceeded to laugh like a runaway monkey while the owner of the step was relegated to using just a corner of it. I retrieved the babe, made some lame joke about how Frida thought that her mother had grown glasses (the other mother was wearing specs, not uncommon during workouts in Germany. See also: ‘hair down’, ‘scarf on’, ‘wearing Chuck Taylors’, and ‘no sports bra’ for odd workout trends here in Hamburg), and retreated to my step. The wee one went on another rampage, stealing water bottles and toys from neighboring steppers, cooing adoringly at the tinier babies or climbing on the larger ones, and squawking at the instructor (Frida, bilingual to the core, apparently speaks both Pterodactyl and Eagle Scream.) Then she tried to climb up on a punching bag, fell down, and bonked her head. I picked her up to help calm her down and to check for bumps. Twenty seconds later, she was playful and bump-free, but, say, that reminds me…

I think I might have brain cancer. I have a largish newish head lump. I first noticed it a few months ago when I tried to roll my head to side to side while lying on my back on the floor: it sounded like roll-roll-therwhunk!- roll-roll-therwunk! I reached up and, for the first time, felt a large, painless, bony skull protrusion. Let’s play…

Where’dja Get That Head Lump, Miss?

How to play: If you were present at any of the events below, and remember me having a 1″x2″x1″ skull lump that’s about the size and shape of a fingerling potato on the parietal bone just above the right temporal bone, then we all win! No brain cancer for me! If you don’t, then maybe we win anyway, but this time winning means ‘me getting another MRI’.

  • My mother’s response to choruses of ‘your baby is so cute’: ‘Yes, she has a nicely shaped head.’
  • The time during sophomore year of college that Emily Walker shaved my head, including the several months after that when perfect or relative strangers would walk up to me and pat me on the head like a dog.
  • The summer of 2002 when, dealing with a particularly bad blond dye job, Ethan Ford gave me a mohawk, including offering to mohawk my eyebrows. (Offer respectfully declined.)
  • Any number of visits to Mint Salon in Austin, where over the course of a decade my look was updated from grown-out-mohawk to bob to pixie cut to whatever we call a pixie cut when we’re in our thirties.
  • The hundreds of noogies, Monkey Scrubs, and head slaps that come along with befriending brotherly types between third grade and… now.

So, let me know, will you? I think of myself as having a perfectly shaped, smooth, bilaterally uniform skull, and I’m told that paranoia is a side effect of brain tumors.


Update: I got my head examined this morning, and the doctor said that it was nothing to worry about. Hurrah!

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