Paula Hanasz

A Day in the Life of My Thumb

Whack! (thud, thadump, creak, sqush, skadimp)

The body fell, crushing me beneath it’s plentiful bosom (what a way to wake up!). Pins and needles, sharp nails, cuticles galore! Ay, what a life! Next, i expect, little J. Horner will have me thrust into a Christmas pie to pull out a plum (a plum indeed! And a plumbed plum at that!!)

At least my nail is finally being cut (click go the shears, click, click, click). I must say, a shorter, squarer, fingernail is more my style (and quite the vogue).

I tell you what, in the olden days it wasn’t so hard. A thumb could get some peace and quiet once in a while (go overseas, see the sights, a real thumbs up, it was). But now, oh now, only a dislocation means rest for a while, some time off to relax. But at what price? My pride. I think not, i pride myself on my pride and …

No, these aren’t the days of pomp, pageantry, show and shame, gentleness and gentility, immortality, immorality. These aren’t the days of Gloves (creamy, peachy, suede, silk, beaded, embroidered, pretty gloves). These are the days of gloves (smelly, sticky, powdery, plasticky) surgical gloves. And that’ll be the day when i dress up in a mutated condom!

Today is harsh (that’s for sure). I long for those moments (those happy, brief, long-gone moments) when i still had the right to twiddle with my left (oh, sweet creature) and not stick out like a sore thumb (gratuitous pun intended) because i work harder than any of those other four i call my subordinates.

Beasts. Cruel, crude, calculating beasts they are, those fingers. Rude fingers, all of ’em! Not an inch of decency among them, getting the hand on whatever they can. Insufferable digits! Those that incessantly tease and taunt me, hit and beat me. They say i am opposable. But it is them (opposable, that is); They oppose all that is different and original; all that is striking and individual, all that is nonconformist and revolutionary. Revolutionary?! Evolutionary! If not for me, they’d still be picking lice off the hairy back of a primate. Intolerable digits! They are the majority, they are the ones who can pick on the weak and the small (regardless of the fact that i am bigger and stronger than them). Nonetheless, i don’t protest, i suffer in silence as has been my lot.

Poke, prod, pat, penetrate, pinch. The daily routine goes on. Swoosh, swindle, sit, stray; fondle, flick, frolic (ha!), fist. The hurdles and turmoils of the day. It’s a thumb’s life. Little tasks, little jobs, all amounting to so much work, all for nothing, really. Who cares? Who really gives a pinkie’s nail whether i’m here or not? Just wiling away the hours, seemingly productive – i’m sure ultimately destructive.

Who cares nowadays if you’re double jointed? People want hands on experience.

As the great Thumb Upstairs would have it, i’m stuck next to a nose picker. Twelve million odd hands and i get stuck with a fungus finder. I tell you what, this isn’t my idea of heaven (soft cushions, moisturising soaps, gentle creams and nail polish in all the colours of the ’bow. And a bit of nookie now and then with the other thumb. Even now the closest i get to covert activity with another thumb is a serious bout of thumb war which i inevitably lose (oh, my nerves, my nerves!)).

What i wouldn’t give (what would i give?) to be rid of those four fiends, those fingers. But the fact of the matter remains, i couldn’t work without them, nor they without me. (it’s a love-hate relationship, that’s for sure). The hand would be virtually useless without me, or i without them. (How would one wipe one’s bottom? Or play piano?).

Yes sirry Bob, one hand washes another (lazy gits, couldn’t do it themselves). Oh, that reminds me; haven’t washed in a while and it’s din-dins soon. I think of everything! No, no, my hand (despicable, deplorable, demoralised) is not disgusting, not a vessel for dirty disease (as opposed to clean disease). Yes, it is i, King of the extremities, lord of the wrist, patron of the hitchhiker, i, the humble thumb, which ensures the cleanliness and hygiene of my office! I, i alone, take the responsibility for keeping the nails groomed, the palm moisturised, the life lines accurate! No, it’s not the middle-management job everybody deems it! (that rude middle finger would say i am taking credit where credit is not due, overcompensating for my own complexes and feelings of inferiority, hogging the limelight, and in a typical finger fashion, stickin’ it right up there. Bloody rude, says i to that!)

(Admittedly, i take responsibility for some erroneous actions committed by me in the past that may have, perhaps, led to certain, ahem, foibles (for lack of a better word) and indiscretions. But till the day blood stops flowing in my arteries and veins and i paralyse with rigour mortis, i shall not be held accountable for the Lost Marbles incident! My enthusiasm has unfairly been branded ‘incompetence’. The losing of ones wits, like the losing of one’s marbles, is strictly one’s own affair, and i am a firm believer that no responsibility ought be placed on the guiltless extremity. So what if, perhaps, i did strike with undue force, must undue force fall prey to all sorts of allegations? Ahh, what’s the use? There’s no justice anywhere.)

A thumb knows his/her time is up, (his hour gone, his 15 minutes expired) when the cunning game of strategy and wit, ‘heads down, thumbs up’, is no longer played. From thence he/she can only look forward to the interim between the decaying present and putrescent destiny. The interim known as the ‘time between sunset and complete darkness’ years.

Yes, in these turbulent times of chaos and anarchy, when lives are a jumble of forged feeling and electronic emotion, no-one has time for the simple things, no-one pays attention to the little guy, let alone admit his importance and strength.

Yes, it’s a thumb’s life!

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