Thursday, September 30

on the other hand

Last week I posed a question on the ‘Barn Notes’ blackboard at the farm: How many fingers does Tasha have on her little hand? I gave options of two, three, or four. The overwhelming majority of two votes went with four. False; I have three fingers on that hand [see post ‘Meet Finneas’].

“Alright, I want to know who gave me an extra finger,” I say at a recent staff dinner party. I look at Pete. “I know how many fingers you have,” he says, insulted. Two women on support staff confess. Still, I have to give them poi
nts for playing the game...and making me smile.

Three-digited Finneas and I went for a much needed massage a few days back. Being on the rebound from another therapist, I was hesitant to put myself back in the game, but Gary came highly recommended. He used to be an electrician, which is why he has such stellar strength in his hands: the better to massage you with. He asks if he should work on my little hand, which I appreciate, considering some body work professionals seem to pretend they don’t know it’s there. I refrain from saying Finneas would be hurt if we left him out; first impressions are still at play. Never mind that within a half hour of meeting Gary, I’m lying naked on his table...massage table, just to be clear. We discuss how I’ve considered going into massage therapy as a profession because I’m such a believer and enjoy the work, but I’m afraid I’d be on the fast track to one-arm burnout. It wouldn’t really be fair to put so much responsibility on the big arm.

“You’ve got some real muscle there, girl,” Gary says holding my right arm, noting the tone built from lifting saddles, and everything else, all summer long
. I shrug it off, but am secretly flattered. Plus, nothing feels so good as having my 'good' arm massaged. Consistently suffering from neglect, it hardly knows what to do with that kind of attention. I bask in the moment. I’d take this over a bouquet of flowers any day. I may have gotten the short end on one side, no pun intended, but no pride withheld, the big arm is pretty awesome. [Who am I kidding, I fully intend to use as many puns as a person can in one lifetime.]

My pride on the massage table is short-lived. "You don't use that arm much, do you?," Gary remarks after apparently noticing Finneas' comparably little muscle mass. I do actually, but now I'm wondering if the big arm has set the standard too high. What was he expecting, The Hulk? It's five inches long! Either way, I make a mental note to start lifting tiny weights.

“I’ve pulled your arm,” Pete says one evening in the barn. “What? You have?,” I’m so confused I don’t even remember what p
recipitated this comment. “Yeah, you told me to.” I search my brain for what bizarre circumstances could have led to this, and more importantly why I can't remember, until I finally realize I’m thinking of the wrong arm, the one that most often interacts with people. I momentarily forget that I’m so proud of Finneas’ unexpected strength that I am habitually daring people to give him a good tug. Most people willingly, if hesitantly, oblige, after first checking to make sure they heard me correctly, then reaching out into the unknown like a determined pioneer.

Here is a conversation that actually took place in reference to the recent envelop-pushing photo taken of my friend Joey biting Finneas [see “oh yes we did”]....

Stevo: “Dude, did you
actually bite it?”

Joey: “No, not hard, but I actually put it between my teeth.”

Stevo: “What did it feel like?”

Joey: “Umm...just really soft, man.”

Stevo: “Oh, yeah I guess that makes sense, probably because she doesn’t use it as a boob.”

Be honest, now you're curious. Just call first to schedule an appointment.