The Ring Finger
It all began with a dehumidifier in an odd place and a glass jar of homemade granola, still warm,being carried from one corner of the kitchen to the other.
Now I have a crooked finger, and if I do not stretch and massage and pull and aggravate that darn ring finger a few times a day, it will slowly crunch up into a useless and pathetic claw shape.
Sitting in the emergency for five hours with what appeared to be a small cut I wrote a poem.
Here is a section:
“You Idiot, I rail at myself, homemade granola suddenly splattered across the kitchen floor with blood and shards of glass.”
It is not terribly good but as I pointed out to the doctor that I eventually saw, the good side of this experience was getting five hours of ‘me time’.
When he saw that the finger could not bend he said: “I don’t like that”, and I responded cheerfully, “I don’t like that either”, still somewhat stunned by the turn of events.
I had to have an operation on that darn finger to reconnect the tendon and wear a full splint cast from wrist to tips of the fingers for endless weeks of discomfort in which I was told “not to use my hand at all!” by the stern but beautiful female surgeon, in case I ripped open the stiches on the tendon.
Apparently the stiches are a ‘mush’ and it is the scar tissue that holds it all together. This is all information I never, ever, wanted to know.
I hated the cast; I hated having to ask for help with almost everything. The silver lining in the case of the cast is now my 13 year old son is great at dishes and laundry. On the not so silvery lining I also gained about 15 pounds from the increased consumption of alcohol to maintain my cheerful attitude.
I have a beloved older sister who sometimes sees the world through a ‘new age’ lens, and so we will half seriously examine our actions and accidents as if they had a meaning that our unconscious was trying to tell us. Did I cut my finger tendon because I did not really want to learn the violin anymore? The violin lessons, like the ill-advised 8 minute ab exercises I did last winter that bust my gut, are my recent absolute ‘Fails’ in self-improvement.
“Which finger did you wreck?” she queried on FB and I responded “The ring finger and don’t say anything!” But of course now I can’t help but see the symbolism, a marriage needs work, and so does my finger.
If I pay no attention to my ring finger and just assume it will do its thing, as I have always done before this particular accident, it atrophies. So alright, Joe and I need another date night, and god knows we need a holiday together (ha! Like that is going to happen!)
If you want ‘me time’ in your late forties I have some advice, don’t have a kid when you are almost 30 and then one every five years after until you are forty! And, don’t be a slacker from the seventies who never had a career other than waitressing and freelance writing. Note to young people, in my day we were ‘waitresses’ and not ‘servers’.
So ‘All is right with the world” as my Dad would say, and I will be off to massage my finger as I look at the fog rising over the bay and keep an eye on the eagle that keeps an eye on me.