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The Hand Which Fell Apart

Years ago, I lost touch with Arthur Aide, but I just ran into him at the theater. Turns out he got into a huge fight with his girlfriend and she moved out after that. But instead of his heart breaking, his right hand broke. The minute she was gone, it fell to pieces.

So he went to the hospital to get his digits stitched back on and during recooperation he started to reflect on his relationship and he remembered that this distressed hand was often the most committed part of him. It stroked her hair, it wiped the smudges from her chin, it snapped the photos, pushed the button, focused the lens. And often she would remark on how warm his hand was, such that he felt an obligation to run it under the hot faucet prior to their encounters. It really made sense. His hand loved his girlfriend more than he himself did--and its heart had broken.

But this was entirely untrue. During a vacation, while hiking in Mexico, the girl had dropped a rock on Arthur Aide's hand, killing it dead, but managed to keep the hand together with a willing telepathic maneuver. She had, with great effort, held the appendage intact for nearly a decade. And then she left.

Well, the night they broke up, she slept at her friend Alloieann's place for a few evenings and was astonished at how deep her restful state was. Normally she was taking four Excedrin a day. None of that. She jumped off a diving board for the first time in just as long. In fact, everything was just smashing until a waiter at Red Lobster dropped a tray and she involuntarily snagged it with her mental powers.

The jig was up and Arthur says the last he heard, his girlfriend was sold to the FBI by her own father for $280,000 and a lifetime supply of cheesesteaks. My brother interrupted me just then to borrow five bucks, but have to admit that I was quite disappointed that she was unable to bamboozle her captors. Why didn't she use the FBI's neckties against them? Why didn't she topple a jar of dice from an upper shelf upon them? Couldn't there have been a sudden appearance by a jetski?

I waited until after the matinee to catch up with Arthur again and I let the bell at city hall ring twice before taking the crosswalk.

by why the lucky stiff

november 21, 2005