Band-aid fingers

Injuries are annoying – until they look cool. Then, they’re intimidating – and we all love to be intimidating. Nobody likes a paper cut, and nobody likes a gash near the creases of your fingers. It hurts, so you have to put something over it. It gets stiff, so you want to take it off at the same time. You’re stuck in a dilemma between comfort versus utility.

Most of the time, at least. Most of the time, you’re stuck with a crutch for a few days. It’s never “lucky” to be hurting, but if you’ve got a cut right between the creases of your fingers, you’re a lot better off – in more than one way.

Of course, it’s more convenient to have tension in places that don’t bend. But you also get the benefit of feeling like a professional. Like the tape that boxers use. Or the stuff that cello players have sometimes. It’s like you’re role playing as someone else, just because you have that one band-aid. It feels like you’ve gone through some sort of ordeal. You feel impressive.

You go “Huh, I sure put this one on well.” When you’re washing your hands, you can see that it’s still stuck together. The wetness doesn’t go through the whole band-aid. You feel illuminated. It’s like a whole new world of taping stuff.

If you stick your hand real close, and look down from the top of your wrist towards your nail, you can see the small bulge caused by the band-aid. Your finger’s numb, but you smile. You feel like you deserve respect, but you’re not at the point that you want to show it off. At least, not that much – you wave your fingers around now and then – just to see if anyone looks. Just a test.

It gets better when you’re doing mundane things, like picking up your bag. When you run your hand over the straps, the band-aid brushes against them so strangely. It’s like having another part of yourself. You’ve got an extension to your body. You’ve got a handicap, but you’re powering through it. A real champ. Just like those boxers and cello players. You feel like you’ve got protection. You feel strong.

It’s your little bit of sunshine for the day. It’s been nothing but rain for the past week. You didn’t know how much you missed the light. Biologically, you need it. Consciously, you hate the glare in your eyes. It’s a dilemma. Just like if you had a cut in a bad place. You either get the sun in your eyes, or the sky will be dark before supper. You tell yourself that you aren’t a little kid anymore; you aren’t afraid of the dark.

The injury demands respect, but you know your boundaries. You know how annoyed you would be if somebody showed up with a cast and looked at you expectantly with a sharpie in their hand. You don’t want to be a hypocrite. But narcissism is OK. Looking at your band-aid and flexing your finger once in a while is OK. It feels nice to imagine what you would be like if you were paralyzed. But you aren’t paralyzed, so all you can do is imagine.

It still feels like boxing tape. It’s been here for a day, and I still want to keep it on.

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