At least I have my hands
The truth is, I’ve been a bit of a mess lately.
OK, “a bit of a mess” is a bit of a lie. I’ve been one of those mammoth messes that my cat Isabel makes when, instead of vomiting all tidycat-like in one easy-to-clean spot, she leaves little puddles in her wake of varying consistency and color throughout my apartment, as if she suspects she and her sister, Teva, might lose their way and need to retrace a path later on.
I’ve been stewing in one of those messes.
And for the past several days, it’s been roughly one trillion degrees in Boston, with no end in sight, and I have no air conditioning.
Now I’m a hot mess. Way to kick a girl when she’s down, Earth.
It is so fucking hot outside that it might turn me straight. But that might be my recent bitterness talking. And if anyone could find a way to be bitter during this skin-scalding heat wave, it’s probably me. It’s a gift.
Taking a break from swimming solo in my own sweat, sorrow and suckage, I met up with my friend Alexandria, who also recently was rendered “heart-bruised,” as she calls it. We traded tales of woe over frozen drinks at Legal Seafoods in Harvard Square, and then had the good sense to each pay $11.25, which bought us two hours worth of access to air conditioning at a movie theater.
I can’t tell you what we saw, because I’m going to reveal a significant plot twist, and I don’t want to be that girl who ruins the ending. But there’s a universal message to share, and I can’t convey that unless I blab about the twist. And it’s not so much a twist as it is a double amputation performed in part by an impoverished daughter of her dead father’s hands.
There. I said it. Did I pique your interest? Yeah. The writing is superb, the acting raw, the story bleak. You really *must* see this movie. Even though I’m not telling you what the movie is. And now I’ve somewhat spoiled it for you. And the only reason I saw it was for the theater’s thermostat. I think I have a future as a film critic.
In the movie whose name I won’t divulge even though it’s totally awesome and you should rush right out to view it if you’re able to guess correctly what it is with no help from me, this daughter has to literally sever ties to her father’s corpse by holding his arms in a lake while a lurid lady takes a chainsaw and hacks off his hands.
Alexandria and I were rendered momentarily speechless as we exited the theater. Then it was as if we both reached the same life-affirming epiphany at the same time. “At least we have our hands,” we said in unison with a knowing nod, followed by an impassioned fist bump.
And guess what you need in order to effectively execute a fist bump? Exactly.
Hands really come in … handy.
The sweltering heat and our tender hearts suddenly seemed rather insignificant in comparison to a lack of limbs. If having hands is our newfound benchmark of happiness and health, we are both winning. Handily.
Now I’ve become hyper-aware of my hands. When I put a ring on my finger this morning, I thought, Couldn’t do that without a hand. And when I slapped on my watch whose battery died months ago, I thought, Without my hand, this useless accessory would just fall right off a stump and then I’d really have no hope of ever knowing what time it is if I ever decide to replace the battery and set the clock and glance at my left wrist, which I probably won’t. Thanks, hand. And I’m presently using my fingers – which are attached to my hands – as I type this post. I know. Wow.
While the current sauna-like weather may be out of my hands, my mess is completely my own making. When Isabel spreads her sick all around, I buckle down with paper towels in one hand and anti-bacterial soap in the other and commence the cleanup.
Washing away my own messes sometimes takes two hands, too. Or at least an awareness that, all appendages considered and accounted for, I have a pretty damn good life. And many more readers than I deserve, who may even stick around after I’ve wrecked the chilling climax of a feature film and who speak to me from inside my computer and say the sweetest things that melt my heart. And not in a bad way, like the sweltering Earth is attempting to do now. The Earth could learn a lot from you guys.
And I am finding my way back. No breadcrumbs nor barf necessary.