Her hands were folded together, the fingers interlocked. Their thin lines intercepted and intertwined until they didn’t belong to either hand alone. The pinkness of her palm and the mocha of the back of her hand contrasted. Resting in her lap, the fingers faced towards each other and hugged, while each respective thumb turned toward her, as if looking for answers. The long nails glistened in the light as she squeezed her hands together, the joints on her fingers turning into little x’s and y’s. There was a hangnail by her left thumb that glowed red and throbbed, ached and shouted, but she didn’t let it bother her. She unthreaded her hands and placed the left one on her cheek, the fingers wrapping around her face and touching her ear and her neck while the right one led her arm to hug around her knees. At the approach of a new pair of hands they clenched, digging into her skin. These intruders alighted on her and she stiffened. The new hands hugged her, but her hands just clenched up tighter, penetrating through the skin of her neck and causing blood to bubble up and come spilling over the small wound in a slow, oozing trickle, traveling down her slender neck and staining her skin. The hands let go, reached for her, hesitated, then disappeared. Her hands stopped clutching and slumped away from her and flopped onto the couch. They lay still, the fingers partly uncurled and crescent moons fading from her palms. Her right hand floated to her forehead and covered her eyes. Her left trembled and she clenched it into a fist. Wetness trickled through the cracks on her right hand and she pulled her grey hood up over her face. She used the back of her hand to wipe away the moisture from her eyes angrily. Her hands stilled and drifted back into place in her lap, shaking. Slowly, as if they were without energy to do anything else, her fingers on her left hand curled. Her right hands fingers began a slow tapping, in time with a song in her head. The movement was a sad one. Her left hand returned to her wound, her fingers drifted across it, and her musical fingers slowed to a stop.
January 9, 2010