Hand to hand

Rachel Janis

I’m up at night thinking about my writing hand. Every left-hander belongs to a tree. A bushel of “right-brained” creators. Something like a preschooler’s ancestry project: a lineage reincarnated for an afternoon as a swarm of toddlers’ hands, parading in crimson paint, surrendering to the perpetual joke of being caught red, catch-phrased into oblivion. I am forever linked with this mechanical minority, these hands that, on average, will kill me nine years before my counterpart. Hands that keep me up at night for not being right. Hands that put me more at risk of alcoholism, dyslexia, stuttering, violence. I will go to the shooting range and figure out my gun hand. Maybe it will be the same as my camera hand, my softball hand, my mayo-spreading hand. Maybe it will contain a finger one gene off from a killer’s, or a victim’s. Surely she must have used her left hand at some point that day: to trail a sentence, to bookmark a life, as the killer did his killing, circling the library red.