In the muted bluish light emanating from the laptop in the dark, they look almost graceful. Stubby, as always, but soft, tangled in the dark brown strands of hair. You turn them slightly, this way and that, examining the light reflecting off the nails and the hair; and the music swells, the singer crooning of scars and the desire to be sculpted. And you smile–lying all alone in the dark room, turned on your side—your hands suspended in front of you, suddenly seeing them in this new light; as something more than simply dependable. Almost graceful.
Small fingers; large palms. Not very elegant at the best of times, but in the laptop’s light that night, as your eyes roved over the ceiling, the walls, the books until finally settling on your own hands, they’re suddenly of much, much greater importance. You feel this surge of something. ‘Narcissism’ your mind whispers, sniggering—but it’s not that. These hands are not yours. You can’t describe it. The way your hands stood frozen, fingers slightly bent, hair woven through them, a few tendrils gently falling down. There was just something about that moment; something in the music at that very second, and the reflection of light–and the hands.
Gentle and almost beautiful, stunned into a hushed stillness.
Not your hands.
Not yours. You don’t recognize them, but something in you lights up, some long-dead ember spitting out an unexpected blazing spark. Because you’re thinking it: they’re graceful, in that light in that moment they’re graceful (despite that solitary tiny hair on your knuckle; despite being the slightest bit rough; despite the peeling skin)
You clasp them together, the back of your hands cool and smooth.