This story is actually kind of embarrassing, despite how old it is. When I was about 4 or 5 years old, I had a tendency to get into things that I shouldn’t have.
I had solemnly observed my mother removing the fine, blonde hair from her legs with a razor, and I was utterly entranced by the ability of an insignificant object to create such a smooth surface. When I played in the bathtub during my nightly bath time, I would occasionally lay the mauve washcloth flat on the porcelain ledge of the tub and proceed to shave it, inevitably shredding the washcloth. My mother didn’t notice that I had developed this unwise habit of playing with dangerous objects, and she would leave me alone in the bathroom with the door open so she could hear that I wasn’t inexplicably drowning in four inches of soapy water.
One morning I awoke with an awful taste in my mouth, the unpleasant aftereffects of sleep. I felt a nauseating layer of fuzz on the exterior of my tongue, as if I had slept with a stuffed animal in my mouth all night. Stumbling into the bathroom, I stuck my tongue out at my reflection to scrutinize this disagreeable natural phenomenon.
Sure enough, there was a fur-like coating visible on my tongue. I examined the small bumps and creases in my mouth, noting that they indeed felt fuzzy underneath my questing fingertips. Remembering the razor that I had used to cheerfully shear the washcloth in the tub the night before, I decided that I should remove the velvety varnish using the same method.
The pink razor flashed a warning gleam under the bright lights of the bathroom vanity. I gripped it carefully in my small hands. Naïve, I chose not to heed the caution of the sharp blade and applied the device to my tongue, scraping in one smooth motion.
Instantly my mouth filled with pain. A swift burning sensation displaced the moderately unpleasant morning breath. Fire coursed through my nerves, looping from my tongue to my brain and back again repeatedly and insistently.
Too shocked to look away, I whimpered in pain as I stared at my reflection. My tawny eyes brimmed with unshed tears before unleashing a flood of saline. Blood welled up in my mouth, glazing my tongue crimson and vermillion. Now I understood the danger of the razor, and I very gingerly picked it up once more, carefully returning it to its place in the tub.
I spat a small mouthful of blood in the sink, crying out softly at the pain inherent in that simple movement. The cherry red liquid dripped down the drain inelegantly. It seemed almost sacrilegious to watch my blood meet with such an ignoble fate. Wincing with pain, I slumped against the sink and continued to steadily cry for five minutes before seeking out my mother for assistance. Never again did I pick up the razor without understanding its capacity for injury.