These. Hands.

These hands couldn’t even pick a booger properly once I come out the chute squalling; that would come later.

I discovered the power of these hands when I needed to grab something, anything. These hands could pull stuff off of tables, make a big noise, the beginning of this odyssey. These hands clapped when happy, hid my tear strewn face when sad. These hands petted a dog. They were also easy targets for a dog to bite who didn’t want to be petted. These hands stroked my mother’s face while I studied her features up close, this dazzling creature who loved me more than anyone else in a world I yet knew. These hands learned to hold a fork and by virtue of said skill, feed myself. These hands held a pencil and learned to write words. These hands scrawled with crayons and drew pictures, too. These hands threw a ball. Sometimes caught one, too. These hands got damn good at tether ball and marbles. These hands lifted a girl’s dress to see what was under there. These hands soon learned to dress me, too. These hands dug holes in the dirt. These hands slung a hammer and built a three­story tree house. These hands gripped a bicycle’s handlebars and steered me toward exotic ports of call. These hands chunked crabapples at strange back people who lived across the bayou.

These hands hit someone’s face, the very last time they did so.

These hands.

These hands held a girl’s hand, and that felt so good. These hands picked wild blackberries and honeysuckle. These hands gripped a saddle horn, holding on for dear life until the runaway horse finally threw me. These hands threw a deadly fastball. These hands held sticks and began to beat on drums. Incessantly. These hands played a concert for a girls slumber party. Ruby Tuesday. Standing ovation. Showered with kisses. These hands sorted change to buy honey buns, fruit pies and Saturday afternoon matinee movie tickets. These hands waved good­bye to my best friends as my family moved to another town. These hands wiped away more tears.

These hands carefully placed a needle on spinning vinyl. The sounds that filled the room would forever alter my world. These hands slowly stopped throwing balls of all sizes and shapes. These hands were unstoppable in discovering all the hidden recesses and curves of a woman’s body. Every square inch of it. These hands learned to roll a joint properly. These hands began to make something that resembled music. Asses began moving.

These hands learned to hold a steering wheel, shift a transmission, too, and they steered me to the mysterious underbelly. These hands peeled crawfish. These hands cracked pecans. These hands began typing, a learned gift that was the only benefit of a really shitty education. These hands held many frosty cocktails. Cigarettes, too.

These hands. Demanded more.

These hands fastidiously practiced the art of drumming for hours and hours and hours and hours, beyond all reason or rationale. These hands put a quaalude in my mouth, picked mushrooms by the gallon, too. These hands accepted the diploma the principal handed me. Good riddance and bye­bye small minds.

These hands were ready. Exit. Stage left.

These hands touched the Pacific Ocean. These hands held a taco for the first time. These hands learned to wrangle chopsticks. These hands didn’t take to sushi. These hands didn’t do many high fives, either. These hands signed a 4.6 million dollar contract. These hands flew to the Bahamas to begin a journey of a lifetime. These hands very first record became a Top Forty smash. These hands made people laugh, cry, gasp for breath and dance in the finest concert halls the world over. These hands were on international television. A lot. Asses were now moving from coast to coast, stem to stern. These hands still couldn’t keep off of women, now a daily smorgasbord of every polka dot and stripe. Insatiable. These hands. These hands held enough champagne to quench a small countries thirst, or, at the least, give them a helluva pool. These hands began turning pages in books from authors who stimulated something unknown, a totally new fascination. These hands accepted the gauntlet. These hands knew right when to push the button that controlled the Nikon, capturing images the likes of which pleased. And others. These hands petted koalas and wallabies. These hands did their combustible rhythmic business in Kyoto, San Juan, Bangkok, Singapore, Sydney, London, Paris, Berlin, Milan, Glasgow, Dublin, Vancouver and Little Rock, too. Regularly. These hands tapped the pencil on Johnny Carson’s desk. These hands helped me to drink melted chocolate in a copper cup. These hands chopped blow. These hands tucked dollars into Kitten Natividad’s thong. These hands held spanikopita. These hands shook other hands of people I’d only dreamed of meeting: Jeff Porcaro, Robert Mitchum, Jack Nicholson, Bob Babbit, Mac Rebennack, Whoopi Goldberg, George Clinton, Alexis Arguello, Rod Stewart, Brian Eno, Jeff Goldblum, Robert Palmer, Zigaboo, Gary Numan, Rosanne Arquette, Jeff Beck, Gary Busey, George Harrison, Michael Hutchence, Roman Polanski, Bernard Edwards, Dyan Cannon, Don Van Vliet, Keith Richards, Darryl Hannah, Mike Tyson, Mel Blanc, Harry Dean Stanton, Lowell George, Desmond Dekker, Larrie Londin, Daniel Day Lewis, Vanity, David Bowie, Charlie Watts, Garth Hudson, Bjork, Ann Margaret, Prince, Steve Winwood, Charley Drayton, Ryuichi Sakamoto, Warren Oates, Deborah Harry, Hal Blaine, Dennis Wilson… enough already, right?! I agree. These hands made music, and the world became my oyster. These hands tethered the fatted calf. These hands fluttered in the breeze as I kept my balance on the board, admiring the most splendiferous of vistas…

Eventually, the wave crested, depositing my hands on a new shore. These hands pulled breached calves. These hands drove nails, picked tomatoes and cucumbers, tossed square bales. These hands drove a tractor. These hands swung a scythe. These hands fought off hornets. These hands hugged my father over and over and over. These hands went to university and subsequently wrote their very first short story, a flood that did not abate.

And then, for the briefest of brief, these hands took a well deserved… rest.

No. Drums.

As fate would have it. These hands. Grew restless.

These hands flew to Milan. These hands learned to cook. These hands cut loose, a lifetime in the making. These hands reached a plateau.

These hands would not be denied.

These hands backed a world renowned diva. These hands quickened. These hands heard me laugh a lot. These hands drove the world’s biggest hat wearing slim and shit­fire howdy act. Bad hairdos and worse clothing. Horrid line dancing. Everywhere. These hands were typing now. A lot. A Mac. These hands held tumblers of Makers Mark. A lot. These hands grew. Forlorn. Desperate. These hands felt forsaken. These hands didn’t waffle. These hands disappeared from sight. For as many years as it took. Solitude. Trees. Cows. Buzzards, Coyotes. Ostriches. Mud. Grass. Water. Thorns and berries. Me. Alone. These hands. My Rottweilers. My Planet of Women. These hands typed. Type Type Type Type Type. Religious. Fervor. These hands manipulated the Nikon. These hands chopped vegetables and fruit. These hands put out salt blocks and mineral blocks. These hands put out sweet feed. These hands lit trash piles. These hands snarfed ice from a local motel. These hands wiggled in the huesatch. These hands operated farm equipment. These hands were on point. These hands watched me almostdie. These hands remained patient and committed and waited as I underwent a transformation even they didn’t think possible. I lived. I survived. A better person for the exile, the internal cleanse and rewiring.

These hands were ready. Again.

These hands got back in the race. These hands have become what they always wanted to be. Happy hands now. These hands are decorating music most sublime. These hands stay busy. These hands are performing with the finest of the fine. What they deserve.

These hands contain magic juju, the gris gris of the ages.

But these hands remain restless.

Forever restless…

These hands still hold a lot of tacos. While I watch in amazement.

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