Her hands smell of buttery goodness, but her skin is parched- dry and cracking. Auburn desiccated blood outlines the cracks in the skin.
I wake up and bake cinnamon streusel muffins. I disregard the “healthy” swaps of egg whites for the eggs, water for oil, and zero-calorie PAM spray for the stick butter that lines the indented muffin tray. I am not going to eat these.
Last night, I roasted potatoes and carrots in the oven for my parents and brother. I used my hands to douse them in olive oil, garlic powder, oregano, rosemary, ground black pepper, and salt. The result was a lovely aroma, perfectly textured vegetables - the definition of a roast. I drizzled some more oil on after, just for the hell of it, and then justified doing so by seeing Mario Bartalli do the same on The Chew.
I had always wanted to roast vegetables for myself: cauliflower, broccoli, rainbow carrots, asparagus, fennel, and brussel sprouts - but I would have to buy my own true olive oil- cold pressed. I would put a much less amount than that described above and I would have to purchase pink Himalayan sea salt. Also, I would have to eat in bulk to ensure calories. I would have it with a poached egg perhaps, or hummus, but I wouldn’t be privy of calories, and that, for whatever reason, disturbs me. Am I eating too little? Too much? I know there is no such thing as the latter until I put on 20 pounds and even then, there will be no such thing as too much.
As I was sprinkling the salt with my bare hands, suddenly they stung horribly. The salt went into the nooks and crannies of my dried skin. I washed my hands but without success. The stinging lingered, and what is worse, is that I am stung even today.
“I was going to get that for you for Christmas, for your stocking.”
She was referring to a color blocked leather passport holder. I just looked at her. I had no words. I’m not even permitted to walk outside for more than 30 minutes and I sure as hell don’t go anywhere else. What would I do with a passport holder in my possession? It stung. It stung that I, who once had a travel bug, slowly but surely lost all desire to satiate wanderlust, especially without an income. That lack of desire, combined with my need to gain weight, makes it almost impossible to travel.
It stings not being able to enjoy returning home at the end of the day because I am at home all day, everyday. It stung that she would even think of gifting me a Passport holder.
Please don’t get it for me. It will just make me more depressed. I told her this and then I thought to myself, what an idiot.
I can just see myself, pulling out the chic leather accessory from my stocking on Christmas Eve. I have tunnel vision and cancel out those standing around me. I don’t jet-set like the rest of my friends do. They go on spontaneous trips, with minimal luggage, and yet somehow seem to be put together without any worry about expenses.
It stung when I was lied to regarding a quote unquote, concerned, relative. It stung that this person didn’t want to be revealed.
It stung when my own blood goes behind my back, calling up a confidante, under the auspice of me having given the phone number myself.
It stings that I am faulted for everything that goes wrong.
Sometimes my hands seem healed. I have forgone that annoying pet peeve of waiting around for cream to dry. I want to honor myself. I want to honor my hands. I remember reading about medical school anatomy lab in Mary Roach’s book, Stiff.
The hand was the single piece of anatomy that signaled human emotion. The hand gestures, it comforts, it expresses pride when it pats a back, it’s placed on sacred texts to validate vows, it touches and it feels. It’s tactile. It makes you who you are.
I want my hands to be silky smooth. And just when I think my incessant lotion lathering is working, the spaces between my fingers feel as though they are about to wither away.