I’m thinking of fingers.
I’m thinking of my mother’s fingers (in particular) because she’s the only person in my life who ever expressed an interest in how fingers should look; the ideal set of fingers.
I remember her telling me, once, many years ago, that she had artist’s fingers. She was so proud, (almost relieved) that she had artist’s fingers. And as she told me this, she pointed out that I, most definitely, did not have artist’s fingers.
Now, I had no idea what artist’s fingers looked like. I thought of grabbing an artist from the art school next door, staring their fingers in the face, to see what all the fuss was about. But I never had the courage to grab anybody’s fingers.
I did, however, fall into the habit of observing them.
There are so many types. I’ve seen the average fingers, the fat fingers that are different from stubby fingers and the stubby fingers that are different from fat fingers, the thin, delicate fingers, the gnarled fingers (even though I’m not entirely sure what gnarled fingers look like but when I see them I’m inclined to call them gnarled.) And there’s the fingers on which rings were meant to be embedded and the fingers about whom I wonder, “Who the hell managed to slide a ring on you?!” When I meet someone, I look first at their fingers and how they hold their hands and where they let their fingers rest. And then I hope they make a good enough case for themselves, because depending on the ‘themselves’ I have created, I may (or may not) want to be dissuaded.
Now that I’m thinking about all this, I realize how strange that my first thought was to grab an artist off the street, rather than look at my mother’s fingers.
It was out of spite.
I didn’t believe her fingers were special or that they deserved to be looked at and I especially did not want her idea of special to be clouding my idea of special.
And, I wanted to be special.