I've always liked my hands. I can remember lying in bed, a vain sixteen-year-old, holding my arms in the air until my shoulders ached, making hand shadows on the bedroom wall, admiring their shapliness, ring finger pressed against tallman in artificial and affected twisted-wrist poses.
I wore more rings once upon a time than I do now. 3 years of being home, pregnant and baby-tending, broadened my feet along with my hips and removed all my former career-girl accoutrements: that daily dab of White Shoulders wrist to wrist, the careful accessorizing of necklace, bracelet, rings. All that fell neglected to the wayside, and remained there, when I discovered that a working girl in Sweden had no real need of the costumes and uniforms of American corporate life. I haven't worn pantyhose or heels in 9 years, and I'm glad of it. The number of times I've worn fingernail polish since the French manicure I sported on my wedding day can be counted on the five fingers of one bare hand.
My hands are naturally restless, and I've had to learn to train them out of fidgeting. Left to themselves, they'll repeatedly crease a thin fold in the side of a page, pick at my lips, or twirl my hair. Sometimes I think they'll never learn. To stop them from more destructive habits, I'll allow them to quietly run the tips of one finger over the nail of another, or click silently against the underside of a nail, a snickety shell of calcium and sensitivity. Sometimes it's the only way I can get to sleep; to allow my fingers to rub in slow circles against each other, the pad of my thumb caressing the nail of my ring finger.
My hands are quick, able to snatch surprised balls from the air, sweeping and stepping in a keyboard sarabande. If typing were like dancing! My hands are steady, flowing calligraphied ink strokes down parchment pages, moving a brush firmly but gently through my daughter's just-washed hair. My hands are clumsy, fooling and startling me that was so sure they still had the quickness and steadiness of youth.
Really Great Writing Out There Right Now: Freedom of speech indeed - no YOU grow up!
More Really Great Writing Out There Right Now: Almost