If I had no name but hands, this is how you’d know me.

These are my hands.

They grip handlebars, they ferret out invasive grass in my gardenbed, they manhandle seedlings a little more roughly than is ideal, they have callouses from gripping pencils too hard, and they tend to leave dirty fingerprints on keyboards. They reach for wine or coffee reflexively before water, they clap themselves together when I think something is funny, their nails are better kept short because they’re often playing in the dirt, they belay well, they don’t bleed when climbing, they have never formed a fist that has punched someone in the face. They like to hold: Dave’s hand, little kids, pottery, shovels, granite, robin’s eggs, water. They don’t usually wear jewelry. The last time they held a cigarette was 3 years ago, in solidarity with a friend who was telling me about his father committing suicide when he was a kid. If they have got your back, then you can charge forward with all confidence and enthusiasm. They’re not pretty, but they don’t need to be.

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