Creative Nonfiction: Extremities by Charlotte Hamrick

I have a new CNF up on JMWW today. Many thanks to Hannah Greico and staff!



His fingers startled me. The change he counted out onto the counter dropped spastically from the peaks and valleys of his contorted hands. It hurt to look at them. My eyes darted away. He dropped his head, hid his hands in his overalls, pockets bulging like alien appendages beneath the threadbare material. I blushed when I reached out to give him his package, blushed because I was nervous he couldn’t grasp it, but mostly because I felt like shit for being afraid of his hands, afraid that mine could end up like that one day, too.


He massaged my throbbing palm with his thumb, circular like a sucking drain like a drill like a tornado coming too fast to get out of the way. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, he said. Last year it was TMJ. I couldn’t get a spoon into my mouth for two weeks. I just sighed…

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