I didn’t even want to hold her hand: just put my hand close; brush a knuckle; I wanted to
massage the palm of her hand. She scrunched her face up.
What the hell? No way.
Can’t help it.
She made that face again and some half-snort, half-laugh thing. Then she paused, and
examined her own hands. We were sitting in the kitchen; morning light through the window; I was finishing a coffee and she was finishing her coffee with a book: Banana Yoshimoto’s N.P.; I had been watching as she read, how her long fingers handled the pages, turning back and forth to read and reread a passage, like wind blowing over a leaf, with firmness and grace, how her hands seemed to move for her rather than her willing them, and I thought briefly that consciousness perhaps wasn’t only in the head; and then said, I did, what occurred to me about her hands and she set her book down, hands pulled by her own accord again, then making that scrunched-up face.
Why hands though? She was still examining hers. I mean, if you wanted to massage my
shoulders or foot or something I’d at least get that.
I can do that too.
But that’s not what you asked.
No. You’re right. It’s not.
She looked at her hands, and then at me, and then her hands again.
There’s a mole by my thumb here. Never seen that before.
Then she looked at me again, as if there was something on my face now that she’d never seen before. I’m not letting you look at it, weirdo.
I didn’t say anything.
But you thought it.
I almost laughed. No.
She stared at me. She squinted her eyes. She didn’t blink. I then had the sudden and
random thought: that, no matter what, no matter how hard I run, I will always be inside my own head.
After a beat she returned to her book and coffee. I tried to find that mole by her thumb
but couldn’t. Bits of dust floated lazily in the sun-stained air. I had the feeling I would remember this non-event, or that it would come to me suddenly someday long after she was gone, if she was ever gone, and that I’d have to write it out, like Van Gogh sketching out a landscape before painting it. Until then, for now, I would learn to keep things to myself. It was almost spring; its coming breath made the old house creak.
Carmen X is (hopefully only for now) a U.S.A. based writer. They are the author of the online novel imagebook. They promise the X really has no meaning in particular.