Face Value: the Art of Working with a Black Eye

Speaking of eyes…

Wow, after a few days of being awesome and doing whatever I wanted after my horrific kickball accident, I woke up today with a black eye.

My first thought was, fuck, I am a loser, no girls are here, I am the only one up in my household, and I have to go to work.  My second thought, after assessing the damage in the mirror, was fuck, what should I do?

I immediately went for my cover-up which I acquired from an old roommate.  Make-up truly goes a long way when you are a guy:  Covers up hickeys, covers up (most) black eyes, and blemishes if you are feeling even a bit insecure.  I never use it for the latter except in my driver’s license picture, which I was called out on!  F.  I digress, I tried to apply the make-up but it did no justice, and I think it is a shade off considering I am the whitest person in the world.  Fuck it, I had no choice but to wear this bruise on my visage like a badge of honor.

Now, if you wake up with a black eye, chances are you probably are a drunk, an asshole, or just plain someone who likes to get punched in the face; however, my black eye occurred in a rather less iniquitous way.  That is not to say that I am not all three though.  Yet, this time I received my injury while going for MVP at the weekly Kenwood Kickball outing.


I was running around the bases with my eyes on home plate, and my roommate (Dane-imal) had plans of running an interference on my scorage, which sort of didn’t work, but put me out the rest of the game and left me with the beauty mark of a fighter.

Here is how it happened:  I went for plate, he went for the ball and the plate, my face slid into his knees throwing him for a loop, for verification he missed the ball and tried to block me with his body, I scored, got up momentarily and stumbled off the field, we both iced up, and I sat out the game.  People ran to me with ice cubes and cold beers, someone gave me aspirin (3) and I sat in the grass.  I thought about how I probably shouldn’t take aspirin because I usually have more than 3 or more drinks a week.  I sat some more and contemplated the pain, possible a concussion status, and my future.  I was out of the game.  Hindsight is 20/20, stay at 3rd.

My black eye took two days to formulate; the night of game there was only mild swelling, the day after there was an immense bump and some throbbing pain, the night of the day after I took more anti-inflammatory medication and passed out.  Upon waking up and examining my pretty face in the mirror the next morning, I noticed a huge purplish inkblot like stain running from where my eye meets my nose outward toward my cheeks.  A giant puffy flesh-like unicorn for my poor little head.  I feel retarded and have to greet hundreds of people in my Downtown and NE food service industry jobs today.  Great.

My morning went from sad to hilarious in a matter of moments after waking.  I could have called in sick, I wanted to, but then I thought.  Hey, I didn’t get into this jamb by being dumb, so even if people thought I was lying it wouldn’t matter.

So, I guess having a black eye is awesome.

First, you get pity tips.  I got a few extra bucks in the tip jar because of pity.  A co-worker even suggested that I mention that I was mugged and all my cash had been taken.  I attempted this and an older lady, possibly a grandma, left a $20.  I also mentioned that my girlfriend likes to have a few too many drinks and things can get out of hand and a doctor left his card and a $50.  This tactic totally works and if you get a black eye I suggest you try it pronto.

Second, ladies look at you different in a good way.  I think most girls probably like civility; however, I find that most girls also like danger and excitement.  Like, hey, maybe I got this from beating up a bunch of thugs trying to steal candy from a baby or something.  Or maybe I got this defending my mother or this country, because I love her  and this country (America) so much.  Women probably think that is awesome, so my battle scars probably suggest I am not a boring nerd with an I.T. job (AKA).  I slang coffee and pastries and greek food, on the side of jumping out of helicopters naked with only guns and a parachute attached, and assassinating terrorist who assassinate kittens.  Or maybe not, you see, no one really knows.  Its mysterious, which is the other thing girls like.

I just tell them I work for the CIA.

Three, it is a good opportunity to brush-up on your storytelling skills.  Instead of being honest, which I did probably 4 times in precise fashion (which no one believed), I could make up a story such as I beat up the biggest guy on the block and you should have seen his face.  Or I took a pool stick to the face in a bar brawl, which I won.  I had to use my imagination a few times today, but silence almost beats out everything.  Most people’s imaginations are far superior at satisfying their own tastes in matters of injury than I am, I assume a lot of people probably thought I got my ass kicked or I did actually get mugged.

Four, having an injury is a good way to talk about yourself as an icebreaker.  My co-workers actually seemed interested in me.  I felt jovial and they were talking to me.  Like I was some heroic individual and I worked amongst them, I feel they may have even felt special to have worked with a person who sacrifices so much.  My boss complimented me after I told her my story and said, “Wow, I feel bad for your face.”  Another co-work said that my injury made me look “tuff”, she kept staring at my face.  I think she may like me.  I figure that all of that is a compliment even if my head feels like there is puffy purple mushroom protruding from it, a huge horn, an enormous zit.  All in all, it doesn’t hurt as bad as it looks.

I just feel bad for real domestic assault victims and people who are really seriously injured.  I kind of asked for it in hopes of being a champ or winning an award.  The humiliation wasn’t so bad for me and after a few hours all seemed normal.  I wanted to joke with people and ask them what they were looking at, but I refrained.  Kind of a bad joke, kind of hilarious.  Either way I was laughing inside.

As much as I wanted to tell everyone the truth, that it was my abusive ex-gf’s fault I couldn’t, or even the fact that I am in a Fight Club, the Minneapolis chapter, or that I fell down some stairs I couldn’t.  Even though, at some point this morning, I did.  You have to roll with the punches.

I found out the hard way that what your face looks like does matter and you should cherish every flaw, blessing, and curse that happens within and with-on it, because it makes you who you are.  I found that you should not be ashamed of the happenings in your life, otherwise you shouldn’t live that way.  I love kickball and I love my vision, I figure I got something to talk about and it happens to be on my face.  Love what you got.  Let’s all face the facts, and keep our eyes on the prize…


About Terry Scott Niebeling

Hello, My name is Terry Scott, a human being with flaws. twitter: @sirterryscott Buy my ebooks: http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_1/191-4788099-1818040?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=terry+scott+niebeling
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