Tuesday, September 8th 09 at 1:18 pm Leave a comment

My Gramma’s hands were like mine, only older. Her fingers were plump, but long. She always had long fingernails that she rounded at the tip with a skinny, brown emery board. Her hands were pale and the skin of the back of her palms was soft, almost papery.  She wore a wide gold wedding ring with a round diamond in the middle and little baguettes bordering it. When she had a stroke that affected her right side, her right hand became sensitive, and somehow stronger. She hated to have that hand caressed; she said that it was an irritating sensation.  Sometimes she would hold onto my hand with her right and squeeze. She would squeeze so hard and tight that it hurt – like the handshake of a strongman.

Kristi’s hands fit perfectly into mine. Her fingers are long and thin, sliding exactly between mine, like pieces of a puzzle. Sometimes she lets her nails grow long, but usually they are clipped – left just long enough for a head scratch to be satisfying. She spends hours on them – trimming, filing, and painting. She will spend all afternoon giving herself a manicure; ten minutes spent choosing her colour. Then the next day when she comes home from work, she will have picked the paint off of half her fingers. Whenever we are walking somewhere together, we are always touching there.

My hands are like my Gramma’s were, only younger. My knuckles are fat and lead up to fingernails that I bite painfully short. It’s a habit I’ve always had and one that I’d most certainly love to do away with. I can never quite get my cuticles under control; I suppose that I don’t really know the correct way to do it. The skin on the backs of my palms is olive – I like to wiggle my fingers and clench fists to watch the tendons and bones shift and pull. The lines on my palms are almost identical to each other. The top curves up just slightly between my pointer and middle fingers. Around my thumb is one long, curved indentation and two smaller ones.  On my right wrist, I have a thin, white scar where I accidentally put my hand through a window once. On my left hand is a tungsten ring with a diamond that means I am loved.



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