Yes! It was bleeding. Not terrifically, but it looked like it should be enough. One of the granite shards had definitely broken the skin on my right arm, just above the elbow. It was a slight wound, but experience gave me the confidence that it would scar. I mean, if the scratch from the lilac bush last summer had left a graceful hair-thin line of white curving the length of my tan forearm, surely this would leave a mark.
Somewhere earlier in my teens I had become obsessed with scars. Slogans like “Seven scars make the man” and “Chicks dig scars” were constantly playing in my head. So every mishap that drew blood, and there were no few of such on a farm, I greeted with anticipation of a new badge of virility, perhaps this time a “good one” I could really flaunt.
Of course, being the scrawny wuss that I was, they were mostly pretty piddly, and this was not going to be much either. I watch the red bump swell ever so slightly. After a minute, I give up hope that it would be sufficient to break surface tension and form a trickle down my arm. I hoisted the eight-pound sledge hammer and turned back to the small boulder I was smashing for no real reason, other than the hazard of the project. Maybe there was a big one in there yet.