There is something about those hands. Delicate, intricately beautiful, simple. Her hands dazzle me. I find myself often staring at them, as she goes about doing her work. As she types furiously, her fingers flying, trying to catch the speed of her thoughts, I stare. In silence. Frozen in time. Her hands are at work. The pinky is slightly raised and the tiny diamond on her right hand fit on two fine bands of gold catches the sun and smiles. Her nails are also shining, she catches my stare.
“What? Ah?” with a snap of that very hand, very close to my eyes. I am bedazzled.
“Your nails are shining.”
“Hahaha”. That laughter.
“I am wearing transparent nail colour.”
She covers her open, full-throated laughter with those same hands. Her fingers seem to enhance her rings, not the other way round. She goes back to her typing, I go back to my staring. In some time, she will catch me again and ask me if I want to read what she has written. I never answer. She decides as she feels, depending on the subject matter.
I can see that she is jostling with her thoughts, as her index finger plays with that little skin flap on her thumb or constantly paces the nail outline. She seems to have all the solutions in the interplay of her fingers. Once in a while, she cracks her fingers or locks her hands. She raises an arm and scratches her earlobe, stopping en route to play with her ear-studs. She mock-chews her nail, wiping them with the hem of her outfit. All these actions done in a rough, distinct masculine manner seem most delicate, surreal in a way. As if she was to the manner born.
Somedays, she has cut and trimmed her nails. These clean crew-cut nails go very well with that chunky steel-watch that she has taken to wearing these days. And when she wears long-sleeved outfits, I miss seeing her hands. Once in a while, she has painted nails. Bold, bright and vivacious. When the colour starts wearing off, even her chipped nail colour seems done up.
As I see her from a distance, going about her way, her hands taking in everything and efficiently holding my world, I am glad I am the one who got to put that ring on her hand.
When I reach home, I hope to catch my husband's footwear, which means he is home. Though, he is increasingly becoming like me, meaning having multiple pairs. So now I am tracking what he is wearing in the morning when he leaves for the day, which literally makes me a woman following (in) a man's footsteps. Last time, I was so happy to see his shoes, that I pushed open the door and said "Pappa!" (ohohoh, sometimes I am nothing but a mother), only to be told that he isn't there. "But his shoes?" I enquired. The son gave me a quizzical look, "What about them?"
"I mean pappa should be home, his shoes are"
"He must have changed when he came home in the afternoon."
Darn! Now I am no longer the woman to follow in a man's footsteps. In fact, this just proves, yet again, that there is no need to ever follow (in) a man's footsteps. So, now I am just that strange lady with a foot fetish, it seems.
While a lot of stories start with once-upon-a-time, mine starts with "My Foot!" or rather "His Feet". I am fascinated with the husband's feet. Strong, muscular, just the right amount of hairy, dependable, though the nails could do with a more regular clipping.
He sits, cross-legged, with ease. His strong feet with those perfect toes tucked neatly under him. His clipped nails are clean and peep underneath his trousers. I avert my gaze from the ground and smile. I am glad that he isn't aware of my stare, that too, at his feet, rather than his face. Ever since I have known him, his feet have fascinated me. Even when I can't see them, when he wears formal shoes, my foot fetish is strong.
As he glances at me with that half-smile, I am still thinking of his toes, his nails, his ankles. After so many years of knowing each other, in-out, with and without, his feet still, have me. I haven't gifted him footwear, as yet, or even helped him purchase a pair because such a perfect pair of feet should go unclad. As he leisurely crosses and uncrosses his feet or tugs at the big toe, I am awestruck, like as if I am seeing him anew. His trekker's feet when he returns are murky beautiful, often stung by a leech or some thorny bush.
His confident strides, so many times, nowadays, straddling diverse worlds take my breath. I am just glad that I am the one with whom he has chosen to walk along.
Her Hands - His Feet,
Holding up their world together
Just like what would happen
When Venus and Mars would meet.