In Appreciation of Mens Hands
I have not seen Matthew in almost a year, but I still remember the look of his handswide palmed with slightly stubby fingers. Matts hands were never soft; the palms sometimes held calluses. One callus was a mole-like bump. When he rubbed the inside of my thigh, the bump was scratchy like sandpaper.
Matt claimed he had been born with eleven fingers. He said the doctor removed the extra digit at birth. It its place was a small mass on his pinky. The mass was the size of a thimble, and sometimes I imagined what his hand would look like with the extra finger. In my mind, the finger flapped crazily, and it sometimes snaked his hand toward hot flames or a womans breasts.
The last man to which I felt a sexual attraction had a large jaw, and he was tall and broad-shouldered in the way I like a man to be, but when he extended his hand and I took it, I was disappointed. The hand was smooth as the flanks on a mare, and his long, narrow fingers seemed more delicate than mine. He was a writer. I like writers. I like poets. But all the poets and writers Ive met have schoolteachers hands. They handle delicate things like chalk.
I want a man with steelworkers hands, but I want him to be a quiet poet who lives alone and dreams deep. I dont care if this man speaks in nothing but double negatives. I dont care if he says shit like, Whats up, ma? I would seal his mouth with masking tape, let him touch me until I grew tired of it. I wouldnt even care if he didn't know how to fuck.
When people remember old lovers, they often go weepy-eyed when remembering a pair of eyes or a head of silky hair. Those are not the things I focus on; however, a mans hands can sometimes make me wanna take my clothes off. Sometimes I see a man whose hands are so rough-looking and calloused that I dont care if they are covered in grease. I dont care if he has a prison record and a face tattoo. If I were a certain type of woman, I would pursue him, offer him things. But Im not and I dont.
Once Matt asked me if his ding-a-ling was big enough. It was the middle of the night and I was tired. Yellow leaves fell outside our window. Meh, I answered him, its aight. What I shouldve said was that the biggest ding-a-ling in the world wouldnt matter if a man doesnt have those blue-collar hands, the kind adept at woodworking, sanding a body down, manipulating it, but also knowing when to let it alone, let it sleep.
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