ETHOS

ETHOS

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Man Hands

So there’s this scene in Blood Meridian in which a man paws through raw coals to find one with which to light his pipe. I feel like such a pansy when I read passages like this. My hands were a bit calloused after I finished painting my house, and it was good. No, it would read something like this: His hands had grown rough with the work, and the roughness was good, and he admired his work and saw that the work was good. When I was in high school I burned my hand pretty badly on a bunsun during lab. It was before a track meet and I remember thinking how distracting running with a burned hand would be. It was my chemistry teacher’s last year before retirement, and he was a bachelor with a lot of cats, and he stood at the back of the room, his foot wedging open the door to the trailer, and he smoked. He stopped smoking long enough to come see what all the fuss was about at our station. When I told him I burned my hand he grabbed the bunsun and held it for a long time. You think that’s hot? he said. I’ve since been very sensitive to the fact that my hands are soft, and I realize the fact that I’m touchy about it makes it even worse.

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