A Piperguy48 Production

To be clear, I have 2, one on my left and a mirror image of that on my right. They have served me reasonably well for most of my life. Initially of course they were simply interesting things that waved in front of my face.  Practice and experience taught me how to get them under control and to be relatively useful tools. They fed me, they pleasured me in many ways, they defended me. I came to rely on them, the right more significantly than the left. And so it went for many years, a mutually beneficial arrangement.
That relationship began to change after about 50 years. I admit I did not treat them particularly well. I once put the tip of a knife almost through the fleshy web between thumb and forefinger of my left hand and still, sixty years on, bear that scar. While building a deck in our yard I acquired a raging infection that threatened the sanctity of my right appendage. More recently I dislocated the middle digit of my right. I have always gripped pen and pencil with a grim determination and never developed the gentle, easy-flowing script with which others seem blessed. I tortured them at the ivory keyboard and on the finger pads of clarinet, saxophone, and for thirty years on the chanter of the notorious Great Highland Bagpipe. All to little avail, never having mastered any of them.
All of this abuse began to take its toll. Odd aches and pains slowly crept into everyday movements. Tapping on a keyboard replaced laborious scribbling (but I never did master the art of touch typing) and offered some relief, though no improvement in speed – at best, four fingers.  Joints slowly began to misshape, swelling and twisting into odd mockeries of their former selves.

These Hands

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