Don’t touch me!

Illustration of hands raised in stop gesture

My hands are generally not the talkative type, my mouth makes up for that, so I was a tad surprised to hear them speak, “What’s with this new act?” they asked.

“New act?” I asked my hands, “What act?”

“This keeping us away from your face, washing us a hundred times a day. It’s like we’ve suddenly become pariahs! We loved touching your twitching nose, smoothening your unkempt beard, even helping you remove those morsels stuck in your mouth. But now, we’ve forgotten what it’s like to come close to your face!”

“It’s this virus!” I told my hands and explained what the virus had done to our intimate relationship, and that now all hands were barred from touching faces.

“But we were meant to touch!” said my hands simply.

“I know,” I said, “I’m terribly sorry!”

“We miss stroking your beard when you were in deep thought, brushing a stray strand of hair back when you wanted to impress a pretty lass on the road. We loved rubbing your nose to stop you from sneezing…”

“Stop!” I shouted, “It’s been difficult these last seven months! You don’t have to remind me!”

“Maybe it was a punishment!” said my hands thoughtfully.

“Punishment for what?” I asked.

“For not using us in the right way!”

“But I did!” I cried, “My nose, my head, my face, my mouth, my teeth, all belonged to you both!”

“Maybe that’s the problem!” sighed my two hands, as they lifted themselves dangerously close to my face, and I pushed them back hastily, “Maybe the world is being punished for what they didn’t do with us!”

I watched as my hands actually looked at each other and nodded in agreement, “We were meant,” said my hands thoughtfully, “To touch those who needed a helping hand, not just digging your nose, but opening your wallet to help others. We were meant to hug those who needed to be comforted, not just shaking the hand of your next customer to make more money!”

My hands looked wearily at me, “And Bob, how many times did you clasp both of us together?” they asked loudly.

“Clasp together?” I asked.

“Like this!”

“Those are praying hands!” I whispered.

“How many times?” they both asked sternly.

“Not too many!” I said slowly.

My hands looked at each other dolefully, “Maybe a little caring, a little sharing, some load bearing, of those who are poorly faring!”

“Yes!” I said simply.

“Don’t!” shouted my right hand as I nearly put it on my beard, “Learn to use them for others, your weaker sisters and your brothers, and maybe.”

“Maybe what?” I asked.

“We’ll soon scratch your face,” sang my right hand.

“Dig your nose,” sang my left.

“And chase the virus away..!” they sang together in crescendo.

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Robert Clements
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Robert Clements

Robert Clements is a newspaper columnist with an estimated readership of 6 million. He also conducts a short-term writer’s course. Contact him on bobsbanter@gmail.com for more details.