The onion was slippery and the knife was dull.
You know how it went from there. Crimson-splotched wads of tissue paper littered my counter while I paced the kitchen with my finger raised high over my head. A perverted victory march.
Because all of my medical knowledge comes from Gilligan’s Island, I reflexively searched for a coconut to apply pressure and The Professor to give me advice. My kids were worried enough to stop fucking bickering for four hot seconds and Jeff was pulling out ointments and tapes. I was in good hands.
The problem was that it was already 5:40 PM, and I wanted to get my vegetable-filled dinner in the pot, the kids in the bath, and go on a run before the sun went down. Oh and Simon needed to eat something STAT so he could take his medicine so he could get well. The next day his classroom was having a Seder. I wanted to be there. It would be awkward if I showed up without him.
Jeff wrapped fancy medical tape around my finger and promised that I’d be fine to run in ten minutes. But two minutes later, wooziness clouded my eyes and the floor pitched.
No run for me.
My surrender was a slump in the chair. Damn. I can’t get the timing of anything right. I heard the faint tinkling of pity chimes. If only I’d decided we had plenty of vegetables and didn’t need the onion. Pea pods would have been just fine. If only I knew how to sharpen a knife, then my heart would be pumping from soul-stirring cardio– (I’d just downloaded two Beyonce songs; I meant business)– and not from the pain of having sliced the Christmas out of my middle finger. I once heard on NPR that dull knives are ten times more dangerous than sharp ones. Mental note: donate money to public radio.
The bleeding stopped long enough for me to take a walk before dinner. I put on a black glove and walked the whole way with my hurt finger on my shoulder, thinking surely it’s true that I should keep my injury above my heart. The Professor must have been right about that much.
Maybe rushing around doesn’t work, Jeff said once the lights were out. Grateful to be soft enough to hear that as an observation and not a criticism, I agreed. My finger was throbbing because I stacked too many planes on my tarmac– cramming must-do’s into the 5-7PM slot is lunacy. Asking for trouble. Inviting in heartache. And apparently physical pain.
I haven’t looked under the bandage. It’s been almost twelve hours. I’m afraid I should have gotten stitches, but who has that kind of time?