Stronger Than Before

You might not know this, but I've got a broken index finger. On my right hand, which I do favor. It's healed now; don't get me wrong; I wouldn't want you to think I was typing this with a crippled appendage or anything, but the fact remains that it was once broken, by Penny in fact, and thus will always be a "broken" finger.

We were having a rubber-band fight, you see, which is nice because it makes the injury as trivial as it could possibly be -- seriously, I've given this some thought, and still can't conceive of any situation more uncritical and utterly absurd for a broken bone than an impromptu shoot-out with little rings of elastic. How I wish I'd been confronting a whale shark or something, perhaps hauling my shipmate aboard during a brutal snap monsoon (for some reason it's always at sea tha my manly fantasies situate themselves).

But no.

We were shooting rubber bands at each other across the office where we met, probably dodging assigments as well.

A stray rubber band -- valuable ammo, you understand -- fell to the carpet and I lunged for it with my most dexterous hand, my right. Penny, my future wife, saw this lunge and interceded, determined to prevent me retrieving the rubber band, and STOMPED mightily on the tiny object to claim it as her own.

Unfortunately, I'd already grabbed it in my fingers. Penny's mighty stomp crushed the bones in my index finger in three places, impressing even the radiologist who looked at the x-rays, because it is indeed an unusual injury to sustain. There just aren't that many opportunities to have your phalanges crushed above the second knuckle by a violent compressing force.

I bring this up now not to blame her again, nor to make her feel guilty. In truth, I've forgiven her completely -- pledged my life to her, as a matter of fact -- and only thought about this just now because I happened to glance down and notice how my right pointer finger is just a *little* twisted when you compare it to the left.

Nothing noticeable. But I remembered the doctors telling me I'd have arthritis in that finger someday. They said the bone would heal, because I was young and healthy, but that technically it would never regain the structural integrity it had before. And one day, when I was bent and old, that finger would most likely give me trouble, pain when it rains, I theorized, reminding me of the day when Penny and I went for a rubber band at the exact same time and she stomped me.


I can withstand that, I bet. In fact, it's really sort of a fond memory for me. A reminder of the days when I knew I liked her, a lot, but wasn't sure or even very optimistic that she'd ever like me back. And every conversation, every email, every shared glance over a meeting table was another chance to win her over.

Well, I've won her over. She stood in an old outdoor pagoda on a chilly May morning in 2004 and said she loved me, out loud, right in front of lots of people. They even declared us married, and she wears the ring I gave her, most of the time, when she's not mucking up her fingers making a new painting.

And now I like my broken finger. I like knowing it'll ache one day. Even something as seemingly unlikeable as a twisted, shattered-and-reglued index finger can be a pleasant reminder when it reminds you of the best thing that ever happened to you.

We were shooting rubber bands at each other across the office where we met. Trying, I think, to inflict a sudden sting of recognition upon each other. I wanted to just get her to *notice* me, even if only with a fleeting welt. And it worked.

So today I'd like to say something, using this damaged appendage of mine, celebrating the fact that it's not yet arthritic, and not yet bothersome, and to in fact celebrate the fact that one day it will be, and I'll remember all over again:

jjjjmmfjjnhuhkknhiujhhumhukjnhjkjkkhhmhjuiuk. Jeez Louise, Lope, I'm justifiably, jury-convicted, jumpin' jehosophat in love with you. To the ends of me.


-T- said...

Great post; I laughed a lot and then just smiled.

Kimberly said...

My good friend Krystyna fractured her sternum when a friend threw a brussel sprout at her chest while at the grocery store. It was innocent horse play and yet so hard to wrap your mind around something so harmless could become a deadly weapon. When she went to the hospital, the docs were waiting to hear a horrible tale of how she was body slammed, or someone landed on her chest but they were not prepared for her respone. Basically, they didn't beleive her story and actually thought she was an abuse victim. It is more funny when she tells it.

The rubber band thing is pretty funny though. I will have to tell that one to Krystyna. Not an injury you will be bragging at the pool table with the boys huh? Thanks for sharing. I needed some comedic relief. Tell the wifey we said hello!

jikam82 said...

I am crying now...at work... because that is so sweet and I am an emotional basket-case.

And James got the good ol' "why haven't you ever written anything like that about me!" schpeal. :)