As close to an honest story as I'm capable of. #flashfiction #shortstory https://t.co/wlp2YyEJw3 https://t.co/blT4yyxljz (2 days ago)

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Jun
21

give me a hand any day

I’ve always wondered how many epiphanies I’ve had in the middle of the night only to forget them in the morning. This one I wouldn’t forget.

Lying on my bed with my eyes open and hands on my chest, fingers intertwined, unable to sleep.

Letting my hands fall to my side and closing my eyes, suddenly feeling very drowsy.

Keeping my eyes closed but sliding my hands together and feeling my fingers again entwined, knowing beyond doubt I can never nod off like this.

You can’t sleep when your fingers are touching.

I’d cracked the case.

Your eyes might be how you see view the world but what exactly do you think all of those nerve endings and tiny muscles in your hands are up to when everything goes dark? Still longing for shape, size and texture. Every time I close my eyes I see a shower of tiny sparks coming off my fingers each time they make contact with each other. Like eight high tension wires and two twiddling thumbs.

Your lips might have more nerve endings in them but given that their only function is to kiss and blow raspberries at people whose opinions you don’t agree with they’re really not that important when you stop to think of it. Which I was in the throes of doing.

And your feet? They are far too concerned with balance to be much good to you at night. They are just happy to be elevated and off duty for a few hours.

Snapping fingers. Pointing fingers. Crossed fingers. Fists. All of these manifestations springing to life every time they so much as brush up against one another. How is it I never noticed this before?

I read an article that said nerve endings in your fingertips perform complex neural computations that were until recently thought to be carried out exclusively in the brain. Is that why I am thinking about my hands this late at night?

Do they dream?

They touch again and this time a shiver runs up my spine to the base of my neck.

I remember when I first realized that when my eyes closed that my retinas didn’t turn off. It was just a thin sheet of skin had been pulled over them, blocking the light. Once I understood this I saw tiny bits of dust floating on my eyeball like tiny creatures projected upon a black backdrop. As long as I was awake my eyes remained on.

Sleep was never the same and it took me years to unknow this.

Now I’m lying there trying to not know if my hands are touching or not.

But I can’t. I can only sleep when they are separated so they can dream about important handshakes and gliding softly down a lover’s back.

You can’t sleep when your fingers are touching.

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