Saying goodbye to a best friend, with hands.
Oh, I must tell you this, I remembered it for some odd reason a week or so ago. It was my last day there, and I had gone up to the top floor to say goodbye to some of the admins I worked with for so many years, and to Steve W, who I’ve known since I started and he’s company president now and I’m not. You and I had said goodbye on the phone, as you had to rush home. I was talking to Jan and you made an appearance there for just a second, so we were able to share a quick hug and a smooch and a goodbye and it was much better that way, nothing drawn out and too sad. We were clutching hands, my left, I think, your right. As we parted, we slowly let our hands slip away, fingers unwinding, till your last finger slowly freed itself….it was all very sensuous and memorable and very Danette, or at least the Danette I knew. The reason I know this is how it appeared is that Jan was watching us carefully, and really focused on our hands, which clung to each other and parted slowly, even lovingly, and Jan’s eyes grew wider and wider, she couldn’t tear her gaze away. When we finally let each other’s index finger go, we held our hands aloft a bit, waving the fingers at each other. It was very sweet. But Jan had such a look of astonishment. I have no idea why. I recall her looking at you and then back at me and at you again and you could see her mind whirring, thinking what I’m not sure. Maybe I don’t want to know. But seeing her expression, I immediately began saying whatever it was I had been in mid sentence of when you popped in, and she recovered quickly. But that look on her face was so funny…I just had to write it out.
I have to confess this is a bit of an exercise…in fact, I remember thinking writing it up just like this not long after my last day but couldn’t get up the brain wattage to actually attempt it. I am fascinated by hands.,…have been ever since I saw the old Albrecht Dürer woodcut of a pair. They have to be the hardest thing to describe. Not still, or grasping, not working as one unit…but the fingers moving individually as they do. That is five independent controlled appendages–personalities, almost–on each hand, plus the hand itself, and the wrist, and describing them in writing is virtually impossible, as you have to tell all five finger’s stories at once, plus that of the hand, and of the wrist, and of the person behind the hand…all simultaneously. And here you have two hands–your’s and mine–in movement and touch, with a powerful emotional component of best friends parting being the movements of each and together…and then the reaction of Jan watching it and the imagination she was letting run riot…I mean, it’s so vastly complex that describing it is virtually impossible. Atop all that, it was beautiful, in the way two hands together–shaking, say–never are. It was an amazing scene, and I utterly failed to even get a glimpse of it down in prose.