My Old Hands

I’m trying to see this from a different point of view. I’ve had my hands for forty-eight years. My father saw them before I did.

Infants don’t know about their hands. They discover them at some point. They discover their feet and ears and given ten to twelve years they discover other things as well.

I rediscovered my hands.

They are old. I don’t feel old. I’m the same asshat I was at eighteen but my hands have changed.

My father would see my hands as a child and later as a teen and then an adult but he wouldn’t have seen them as I do. My hands have done all manner of things.

I look at my kids now. Their hands are going to age and in their time they will have brushed the hair of granddaughters and blessed the running blood of multiple injuries, schoolyard tragedies involving balls and such. Their hands will make a woman sigh.

When I was born the doctors at Fairfax County General told my dad that I was going to be a Redskin wide receiver because I apparently had big hands. I look at them now and they are wrinkled.

Spider webs can crash your eyes and your nose might be as bulbous and red as a beet, but you see those once or twice in the mirror as the day goes. Your hands. They are before you. Tapping the keys and leading the vanguard. You note them all day.

What would my father say if he saw my hands? What would he say about their history? What have they done? What will my son’s hands have to answer for?

In the end it’s not my business.

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