20 February 2006

Tuesdays are for Self Portraits

This is a hand. My hand. My right hand. No happy endings, no happily ever after, no insipid articles in the newspaper about how I overcame my obstacles in order to become a more buff me. There is only me and there is only my hand. See it. Really see it. Look close, and run your eyes over every groove, every bump, every scar, every ridge. Tell me you notice it. Tell me you know it matters to me. Tell me you imagine its rigidity, its inability to swivel. Tell me it is awful, because of course it is. Feel every A and every B and every J and every W I will say with that hand for the rest of my life. See how it has shaped who I am. Tell me it is okay that it has redirected my psyche, even if it is not. Watch my signature, and how I learned to write with my fingers and not my wrist. Observe me typing, and note without my having to tell you how I do not type with the thumb at all. Do not give me a hard time if I ask you to cut something for me, or if I ask you to move something that does not seem all that heavy. See the loss of fatty tissue on top of the hand between the thumb joint and the wrist. Pretend to be interested when I point out the muscle wasting. Bring your eyes close, and look at the scar. Notice it is not just one white groove, it is three large cuts on top of each other with three smaller cuts perpendicular to them. Feel the otherworldy sensation of the thumb, really feel it. Know that it forever feels like your thumb and yet.... it is an entity of its own. It looks attached securely to the hand does it not? But it feels akin what a pair of too tight shoes or a new pair of high heels feels like. It is your body, all your parts, and yet you feel awkward, uncomfortable, within it. And this thumb is yours. It is your too tight shoes. It is your too tight shoes that you will never ever ever get to take off. Tell me you know that I know that it is not the worst thing that could ever happen to anyone. But tell me you understand anyway the profound loss that I feel. Tell me you understand that the worst part of the whole thing is not that it happened, and you are not as you were. Tell me you know, you see, you feel the truth. That the worst thing is that it does not change. It does not go back. There is the time before, and here is the time after. Listen to me tell you the old story again and again. Listen to the hand, hold it close, and tell it you love it for what it is. Thank it for having the grace to have four usable fingers. Cherish that it endures knitting with grace.

Then wrap your hands around my left hand and tell me you take all of me as I am.


Anonymous bbudke said...

Dear Fraro. Love you, sweet.

6:01 PM  
Anonymous Query said...

Beautiful piece, absolutely lovely! And worthy of love.

6:19 PM  

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