Abused Hands

(Not one of my better stories. But still taking classes and trying to learn.)


Dear Abby,

Now that I am retired, this is my life. I wake up, open the box of oatmeal, make breakfast and hold the spoon as it goes to the mouth. Then, when I should be relaxing, picking up the paper, flipping the pages, and warming myself on a warm cup of coffee, the driver of this bus says, “No way, ain’t no time to sit around and squander away the day (thinks he’s a poet, but he ain’t)”, and off we go. I never know where he is going to take me.

Maybe it will be to the nephew’s new place that he is remodeling, where I’ll spend the day slopping on drywall mud or hanging doors. Or maybe it’ll be to the neighbors in the mountains, helping pour concrete that dries me out and makes me ache. Or, if these folks are inactive, he can easily find something for me to build around the house.

 Doesn’t generally matter what I am doing though, there is no consideration for my wellbeing. I can almost always count on a sliver of wood stuck in me or some type of cut caused by a slipped wrench making me smash my knuckles into something hard and sharp.  I’m always covered with scratchy calluses and the skin around my fingernails and joints are always dry, cracked and bleeding.

There was one time when he was in a hurry and three of my fingers got caught in a table saw, not bad mind you, but bad enough to need a bunch of stitches, some splints, and no work for weeks. Gotta say, the x-rays were kinda cool. One bone was almost cut all the way through in one of the fingers. And yet, everything grew back, almost brand new like, except for a few scars. Scared the heck out of my daughter who was home and tended to me until the ambulance arrived. She handled it like a real champ.

When holding my wife’s hands, she says to put on lotion cause I’m prickly all the time. She says gotta slow down, gotta teach those hands to experience life like a slow country waltz instead of a fast country swing.

What do you think I should do?

Yours truly,

Abused Hands

Response – Abused Hands, next time, go ahead and finish the job with the saw, that will slow you down.