I rarely, if ever, think about my eyebrow piercing, though I've had it now for something like eight years. Usually, I do not even remember that it's there, until someone scrunches up her face in a certain way and asks, "Did that hurt?" Then, seeing my blank look, she adds, "When you got your eyebrow pierced."
Oh, that. I send my brain back on a long journey to Lincoln City, Oregon, where a sunny woman working at someplace that had a sunshiney name put tea bags over my eyes and said, "This might pinch a little bit." In my memory, that's all it did. A little pinch. But in my mind, childbirth didn't really hurt all that bad, either, so maybe I just don't have a good memory for pain.
I do remember that in the month or so afterward, while we lived in our tent in various campgrounds and whatever, when David had to put the bead back on with his Leatherman tool, that it got infected despite my daily dousing with Bactine. (I remember that David added "holes in yer head" to the list of indications on the front of the bottle with a black Sharpie.) I kind of remember that hurting a bit, and a slight amount of regret, honestly. It all healed up just fine, though, and now I like it.
One of my reasons for getting a piercing was that my ears started reacting badly to earrings. I don't really know why they were perfectly fine with earrings for over half my life (and I wore some amazing earrings in my time, too--both dangly and hoops the size of paper plates!) and then suddenly got so bad that they would start to itch and even bleed within minutes of putting in any kind of metal or even the nylon kind! I guess, to be fair, I've never tried pure gold, but that's simply because I'm poor, and that would be a big waste of money if it didn't work.
Things got really strange one night, though, when I was doing lights for a show of my Flutterby Sis. It was about 8:00 pm, and I was in the balcony squinting at the light cues scrawled on a yellow legal pad when my left earlobe began to burn and itch. I didn't think much of it, but I did rub it a little, and eventually I noticed that there was blood on my hand. Later on, in the bathroom at Taco Bell, I saw that the blood was coming from the hole where my ear had been pierced long ago when I was nine years old. I hadn't worn earrings in months, maybe longer. My entire ear was red and itchy, but I couldn't figure out any reasonable explanation. So I ignored it.
I got home late that night, and David was already sleeping. My ear continued to bother me all that night and all the next day while I was at work. When I got home, David said, "Hey, did you see my new earring?" and showed me the little stud in his left ear. My ear burned.
"Wow, that's weird," I said. "'Cause my left ear has been bothering me since last night. When did you get it?"
"Last night, about eight o'clock, right after I got off work."
In other words, exactly the same time my ear started bothering me.
David offered to take the earring out right away, but I told him that was silly. How could his earring bother my ear? I held out for one more night, and my ear got worse and worse. Finally, I told him to take the earring out.
My ear was completely better within a half an hour.
So he threw that earring away, and I've never been bothered by it again. Weird.