It's one of those glorious mornings I can't possibly enjoy: the distraction can only make me late for work; I should just avert my eyes. Sunlight has filled up the postage-stamp of a backyard, and the dreaded-polyester green living-room curtains of yesteryear cannot hold back the flood.
I hadn't a care here once. With my Dad, built a canoe in that backyard. I transformed my ten-speed into a twelve. Read A Canticle for Leibowitz all in one lazy summer afternoon, while browning myself on a deck chair after lunch and a swim.
I'm home, but now isn't then: this isn't the cramped apartment I really live in; I am only visiting. And somewhere there's a clock ticking.
Sink. Mirror. Enough of a frosted window and enough daylight. The downstairs bathroom around the corner, away from much of that sunny morning, is as efficient and handy a littlest room as ever for hurrying through teeth-brushing. It's sited by the front door: I can get done and get out.
However, now my mouth is full of minty foam, precisely now that I must get done and get out, here again my left hand has appeared: the reminder I haven't time for. Here. On the bathroom floor by my feet.
I recall, vaguely, catching the hand in machinery: nicked it almost through at the wrist. It stung a bit: that passed. Then as now I was busy, I prioritized, I put off re-attachment surgery when the last stringy bit let go and the hand dropped off. Made do, adapted, and well. Before this teeth-brushing — half a minute ago and counting — I put on a shirt: did not have to think about it; the left stump of forearm clamped together the shirt front and my right hand fiddled with the buttons.
I sigh — and quit that. Sighing's said to de-stress: but I've just sighed minty dentist-approved foam over the mirror. Cleaning this mess really could make me late.
It was on my to-do list: re-attachment surgery. Problem is I have adapted so well and put off re-attachment surgery so long that my left-side stump has healed over. I can picture the heads shaking ruefully — had I time to get to the walk-in clinic — and their turnaway:
"Sorry, it's much worse now it's healed. Should've come sooner. Now you'll need a specialist."
NOW really is not the time. I cannot not go to work.
My lopped-off hand might've just waved at me, palm up, from the floor. Almost sure the fingers just flicked a mocking 'Hey There'. Apart from it lying there apart from me, Hand looks healthy. That's suddenly most annoying. The skin so pink, alive even: the fingers and that useful thumb; and the wrist hole that has skinned over. Left Hand looks to be doing just fine without the rest of me.