Friday, October 03, 2008

cosillas de borega

Almost in the very middle of the back of my left hand is a little bit of a scar, a crescent moon in red indenting my skin about an inch below the second knuckle. It's not even really noticeable, I assume, to the casual observer. That happened when I smacked the back of my hand into the fish cart.

We have a cart roughly one foot by three feet, maybe four feet tall. It's on wheels and has three shelves and lives during service next to the door between the kitchen and the dish room. It holds the fish, tomatoes and onions that are the fry station's output as well as the requisite flour, panko, corn meal and egg wash.

Rushing through the kitchen one night, not accounting for the fish cart being moved to the opposite side of the doorway next to which it lives, my arm's usual swing brought my hand into the end of the fish cart with some amount of force. I was concerned for the rest of the night that I'd broken a couple of the bones because it hurt so much. The skin was a broken a bit, and the sign of that ordeal is the tiny scar that will probably fade eventually.

While Frenching racks of lamb recently, paring knife in my right hand, lamb in my left, I found the paring knife dragging its point across my second finger. It's barely a cut, just enough to get a couple of grains of salt and maybe a bit of black pepper in while salting the chips. It didn't bleed even, though the blood from the lamb made it hard to be sure until after I'd washed my hands. The sad part of that is that I nearly cut myself a second time before finishing that job.

There are a couple of burns on my right hand, though none are fresh. They are currently slowly fading pink spots, barely reminders that, indeed, the oven is in fact hot. The most sore thing on my right hand would be the knife callous.

At the base of my index finger, on the inside, is the callous where the back of my knife blade rests. It's a healthy little fucker until you work with something really wet or really firm. Wet soaks in and softens the skin sometimes, and the callous wants to escape and peel away.

Firm foods have a different effect. Perhaps you need to dice half a bag of parsnips. It's almost as if the dull back of the knife is doing its own slow cut into the callous as you slice the parsnip. It's also not unlike the callous is getting spread around like cool butter, mashed and forced across the bread that is my finger. The callous generally rights itself soon enough, but it's certainly a fun little friend halfway through the bag.

If you like callous stories then consider the ring I wear on my right ring finger and that same knife. Of course any ring you wear all the time will form some amount of callous, but press the handle of a knife into that hand for a large percentage of your work day. At least you don't feel the pinching as much when it finally forms a callous. Some days however, the ring and callous, for whatever reason, don't quite align. The blister you don't realize you have is a thoughtful reminder.

And don't get me started on the fact that I can't manage not to hit my head on certain things. Don't get into the fact that I have three tiny (seriously not visible two days later tiny) cuts on my hand from falling ice. Ignore the twinge in my back from the slick spot which I slipped in but did not actually fall all the way down, opting instead for a graceless half spin/twist movement that I'm not really capable of making. I'll also ignore the recurring foot pain for which I can discern nor remember any cause whatsoever even considering several years past. Perhaps it's the cheap Sears boots, but I don't really think so.

I'll leave you with that, my litany of nearly woes. None of these are really that great or horrid a source of pain. They are as described, just tiny little motes that don't really warrant complaint. None of them are bothering me at the moment other than the cut on my finger, and it's not really even bothering me so much as it is sort of asserting itself to be noticed almost. The only scab on either hand is one whose cause I don't even remember, a scab I absentmindedly picked off at some point earlier tonight. All of this I have now milked unabashedly, forcing a blog post from where there was none. Even I can't believe I'd stoop so low, but what's done is done. The cat is for real out of the bag.

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