I have El Salvador in the form of a scar in my forehead. It’s always there. When I see myself in the mirror in the morning, to when I wash my face before going to bed. I feel El Salvador right there. It’s visible in my body. It’s noticeable. It’s a reminder of where I was born.
I was five years old when my parents got me a tricycle. The house where we lived had some stairs and my older cousins were responsible for looking after me, since I was the baby in the house. I guess it must have been annoying for them to be following me around making sure I didn’t fall or put things on my mouth since I was born.
One afternoon, my cousin must have forgotten for a second that I was riding it near a set of three stairs. It was a matter of seconds that must have felt an eternity for her. I remember being in shocked and everyone yelling at her: “Why did you leave her alone?” My cousin looked at me as if she wanted to beat me up for getting her in trouble. Within minutes my chindondo looked more like the volcano from San Salvador. I touched it and thought I was growing another head. That’s when I started crying because the thought of looking like a monster was more painful than the actual fall.
This story is told every time there’s a party and alcohol involved. I am the center of jokes and I love it. I love exposing my scar as a vivid reminder that I actually learned how to ride on wheels on my pulgarcito.