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Image 8 of Kentucky Alumnus, vol. 65, no. 4, 1995

Part of Kentucky alumnus

l "You know how ifyou put a hot dog "All the nurses were told, ‘Don’t let ings I could have. I’ve matured a lot in the microwave and you don’t put him look at himself. He’s not ready,’ ” since then." cuts in it, it will swell up and eventual- he said. "But I was thinking to myself, Anger would not consume Harold ly burst?" Harold asked. "That’s pretty ‘It can’t be that bad.’ So I asked for a any more than the fire had. A more much how my face was when it mirror, and she gave it to me. persistent threat is our culture’s idol- g burned." "It really hurt me bad. I cried for a atrous worship of external beauty. w His mother, Barbara, rushed to long time. Assilly as it may sound, one Hollywood and Madison Avenue \ Louisville. The horror of his new face of the major things I thought about have conspired to concoct an Ameri- was reflected in her eyes. was girls. I thought, ‘Man! Is this ca in which it is better to look good { “She just broke down. She said going to be me for the rest of my life? than be good, where people with when she saw me, she couldn’t even What are people going to think about perfectly good faces pay small for- tell it was me. She said my face was as me? Are my friends still going to want tunes to make themselves look just a big as a watermelon." to be friends? Are girls still going to little bit better. The few clear memories Harold has like me?’ " Harold re-entered this world with a of his first nights at Kosair are those His voice trailed off and his shoul- face of mismatched whorls and ridges. nightmares, real and imagined. In one ders slumped forward. He stared at The scars would be less noticeable if dream an angry, formless Hre shot out the floor. Recalling all the pain made he had followed doctor’s orders and at his face. In another he was stuck on him seem unspeakably weary. regularly worn a pressurized mask. l a ride at Kings Island. “I don’t see how I went through it. I “I hated it; it was like someone rob- { “They said when I woke up I started don’t see how anybody goes through bing a bank," he said. "People got * going crazy in the hospital room. I that." used to my face more than they did tore one of my respirator tubes." the mask. I guess it was the fact that Grim reality unfolded on the Thy faith hath made thee whole. — they could look at me.” evening news, which called the roll of Matthew 9:22 Harold had nothing to hide. Harold’s dead friends: Chad Witt, Another crash victim wore his mask all Q April Mills, Cynthia Atherton and, Five days after the crash, about the time, and his behavior deteriorat- § worst of all, Andy Marks. 5,000 people attended a mass memori- ed during the battle between self- "l had an idea already," Harold , al service at the North Hardin High acceptance and self-loathing. Harold Q said. "You get a feeling, you know. It School football field. The Rev. Gene preferred to deal squarely with the ·§ just dicln’t seem real, like it was a B. Waggonner built his address strange looks and rude questions. His E dream — or a nightmare. I mean, I around a simple, yet confounding, wit, grace and courage won over was hurt. It took me a while to get the question: Andrea Matkey, the attractive Univer- V full impact." “Why do bad things happen to sity of Louisville student who has been Then there was the physical pain. good people?" his girlfriend for most of the past four The most excruciating procedure was l A woman in the crowd asked two years. a cleaning process in which saline- questions of her own: "He can’t help that he was in a bus soaked gauze was allowed to dry on "Where was God? Why didn’t He accident," she said. "That has nothing the facial tissue laid bare under the intercede?” to do with him. And I think now he’s ravaged skin, then was peeled off. Harold has asked himself those very confident about how he looks.” That was l`ollowed by skin grafts questions long enough to know that They had an intense but unusual j harvested from his chest, back and there are no wholly satisfactory courtship. Harold was uneasy about buttocks. Harold will lift his shirt and answers. There is mostly just a silent his appearance early on, and his anxi- expose the crazy-quilt pattern those void to be filled with trust or blame. ety was exacerbated by a mutual operations left behind. A piece of one “For some reason, He decided to friend’s erroneous report to him that , rib was removed to reconstruct his left take whoever’s life He took, and for Andrea didn’t want to kiss him. Frus- ear, which for months remained so other reasons He decided to keep trated by Harold’s reserve, Andrea l tender that it hurt even to blow on it. everyone else alive,” Harold said. “I finally made the move herself. l But the most painful event occurred guess He had plans for them.” “He wouldn’t even let me touch his when Harold saw what the fire had 1 The plan for Harold was to wrestle face for a couple of months," she said. l done to his smooth, handsome face. { first with some age-old demons. Pride. “We didn’t kiss until nine months of The left side was entirely gone, as were l Vanity. Envy. Anger. going together. We had already told both eyebrows. His lips were swollen y "I’d say I was angry toward Larry each other ‘I love you.’ " like a pair of pink balloons. Mahoney. There’s really no other feel- There were hurdles to be cleared. i ti Ketttuckv .·\Iumnus Winter lgg5 { \