You want to know why I have these scars on my knee. They’re so small, how did you even notice them?
They’re surgical scars. I tore some cartilage on my knee when I was young.
There was this shark… No! They’re not bites. They’re from surgery. But my friend Bruce wasn’t so lucky.
We were swimming in the ocean. I heard a yell, a panicky yelp from Bruce’s direction. I looked over in time to see him rise out if the water for a moment, like he was standing up, but we were in over our heads. There was something with him, under the water. A shark!
Without thinking, I swam towards him to help. He was panicking, beating the water. There was already blood in the water.
I reached out to the closest limb I could touch – his right leg – as his body started to rise out if the water again. I kicked towards the shark and made contact. The skin was rough, lots of friction, and as the hard body moved my knee twisted. A sharp pain, but I barely registered it. There was a momentary tug of war, then a jerk, and I was left with a leg… calf, thigh, some hip and buttocks.
I swam back to shore, dimly aware of the senselessness of holding onto this last piece of Bruce. I crawled out onto the beach, exhausted.
I don’t know how long I laid there, but I finally came to my senses as a crowd of onlookers made way for emergency personnel marching down the beach.
I looked down at the body part next to me. The buttocks stared back. The man I had known as Bruce, my best friend since childhood, had become just another asshole on the beach. I stood up and limped off toward the parking lot, without looking back.
I got the surgery to fix the cartilage in my knee a couple of months later. It’s still the single most painful event of my life.