Monday, June 30, 2008

Let Us Talk of Cabbages and Fingers

I love the looks I get from people who shake my hand. When they realize my hand is a bit smaller than they are expecting their expressions run the gamut of surprise, wonder, and even once, disgust. That one was classic. I could read the surprise in his face followed closely after by a slight narrowing in his eyes as if he had stepped in something unpleasant.

Most people, after shaking my hand, try very hard not to look at it. They fight the urge but then started glancing down. Almost like a man talking to a woman and battling the desire to look at her breasts. (I never do, I'm a gentleman). But they need to know what felt so different. No matter how hard they try to concentrate on where the conversational path is heading, they are distracted. It is like being at a party and you are talking to a total stranger who has a big piece of food stuck to the side of his mouth. The relationship is not close enough to say, "Hey Dude. You got, like, a totally gross piece of cabbage stuck to your face. Jeez!" so you try not to stare, but no matter how hard you try, you keep staring at it until all else in the universe disappears and all that exists is that one piece of cabbage. Then he thinks you are a total moron and leaves to find someone else more intellectually stimulating or who will point out that he is a slob.

That's how it is with my hand for strangers. All else disappears and their thoughts are invariably drawn to my hand. My small hand is my piece of cabbage.

1 comment:

Anna said...

I remember the first time I shook your hand in Tucson. As our hands shook I thought of a person I met in Tennessee who refused to shake hands for a similar reason. So, I knew something was different, but you smiled so strongly and you shook my hand firmly, it completely distracted me from the missing pinky.