Creative Writing Column: Hands

Hands consist of ten skinny finger bones, 10 fingernails, 28 joints, 34 muscles, 29 bones, three major nerves, and two major arteries. I know nerves run down our hands, enabling us to feel and determine whether something is rough or smooth, hot or cold, sharp or dull, etc. Our hands are capable of powerful grips, yet at the same time, allow us to manipulate small objects with immense precision—when my cousin can’t open his packet of cinnamon apple GoGo Squeez. The knuckles along our 10 fingers are the hinges that smoothly arrange our fingers in complex positions. Our fingers are the accessories of our palms; they power more advanced interactions with objects. We can write, text, play games, use sign language, etc., all thanks to our fingers. Our muscles are the motors powering our movements. Without muscles, our hands will become motionless clumps of bones, blood, and cells. On the opposite side of our hands, the creases in our palms represent the formation of the closure of our hands. Some claim that this same formation can tell us our futures. The wrinkles in my hand seemingly never cease to intersect with one another. As I follow one, it crosses another. My hands: veiny, large and girth, enable me with a range of complex abilities. They allow me to caress my father after a long day at school and unleash my anger on my pillow after a frustrating soccer game. 

I remember the first time I held hands with a girl. I was beyond nervous. The sweat glands in my hands were overworked, drenching my hands from finger to finger. I remember aggressively wiping my hands down along my blue cotton pant legs. I became so apprehensive about stretching out my hand in-between our walking bodies. The potential response—“Ew”—clouded my mind. What if she wrenches her hand away? Will she judge me? Uneasy thoughts entered my prefrontal cortex. We walked along the dog walkers and nannies on Central Park West as sparrows and crows raced above our heads. One second they were in front, one second passed; they were gone. The seemingly endless row of oak trees gifted us protection against the orange circular sun. I attempted to use various crosswalks as an opportunity to reach out my hand—I failed. My hands remained along my waist until I finally stacked up the courage to reach my hand out. As she looked away, I reached my hand out. She looked down at it and looked back at me with her pearly white teeth, which were slightly spaced out. She slowly brought her wrist covered with friendship bracelets, which seemed to be a status symbol, and I grabbed it with a firm but embracing grasp. Her fingers came first, rubbing gently along the inside of my palm. It tickled, but in a good way. Her thumb wrapped around the back of my hand, securing her grip. Her hand was just as sweaty as mine, and my mind eased. When my fingers grasped the inside of her sweaty palm, I felt this incredible feeling of ecstasy. Something I had never felt before; I had never felt closer to this girl before. Though we were talking to one another for a while, this step seemed to be the biggest one. I felt like I got to know her more in those mere two seconds than I had in the prior months. It felt like an electrical connection that transferred between one another, using our hands as a vessel. For one second, I felt like we were one person. I smiled, and we continued our walking.