A man seeks help for his dangerous, uncontrollable right hand which has been ruining his life.
By Christopher Michael Carter
Thank you for seeing me, doctor. I suppose I should start…
I was nine when it first started; involuntary spasms plagued my right arm. The fingers would twitch and curl as I’d feel my tendons pull against my will. In my sleep my hand would grip the sheets. It would be the center of much trouble throughout the years.
June of ’78, I was ten years old. We were at my uncle’s farm. Every year my family and I would go visit and we’d stay the last week of June through the fourth of July. Well, upon arrival I was so excited to be there again, to see the animals, play and run about. I would run over to the chicken coop to see them and they would, of course, scatter… heh. My aunt had picked one up and asked if I wanted to hold it. So I’m holding it, petting it, when my hand snaps shut like a bear trap and a crushed chicken skull lives inside. My aunt is instantly startled. She was frantic with tears in her eyes as she tried to get it from me. I was crying. All I could think to say was that I’m sorry and I didn’t mean to but, since it was a fight to get it from my hands, she thought otherwise. The chicken’s body twitched, its feet kicked around, clawing me with its talons.
Hours later, after the animal had been retrieved from my grip, I was sitting in the laundry room with my mother as she was cleaning and bandaging my wounds. While we were in there we overheard my aunt and uncle. She, my aunt, was furious yet disturbed at the same time and was spouting off about us having to leave. He talked her into letting us stay, but she stayed away from me for the rest of that time there.
My parents took me to several doctors and found nothing. I’ve had cat scans, MRIs, reflex tests, shots, pills, and various other treatments only to find nothing wrong with me.
May of 1986, I was eighteen years old. We were all graduating, my class and I. I’d been without incident for some time. I’d feel it creep up on occasion only to back off. My hand clinched and crumbled my diploma but managed to hide its tattered appearance before anyone could see. That night a bunch of us had a graduation party and we were all drinking and having a good time. I went upstairs with a girl I’d been friends with for awhile. We had never done anything and I guess the liquid courage had brought us together. Upstairs in our friend’s bed we made out heavily. Our hands were all over each other, after years of unspoken sexual tension. My hands slipped up beneath her shirt and began caressing her breasts. Her nipples were erect and her skin was soft. She moaned at my every touch and I was deeply aroused; however, the moment of ecstasy came to a crashing halt when my right hand clinched close, snapping shut with her breast in my grip.
She screamed and I tried to release it but it only squeezed tighter. She cried in pain telling me how it was too much and to stop. She was swearing at me and when my hold wouldn’t loosen she began slapping me just to get me to stop; to get me off of her. I finally got my hand off of her and she clutched her chest in pain. She left the party in tears. I would later hear about how bad the bruising was and how long it lasted. I hear to this day it can still be sensitive to the touch. I tried to apologize but she was angry and repulsed by me. We never spoke again but we occasionally see each other in passing. She still turns the other way and we never speak.
I tried meditation, religion, acupuncture, natural remedies; I even saw a hypnotist and nothing ever seemed to cure me of this curious…ailment of mine.
Just five years ago, I was twenty-nine, married and with child. We had brought our daughter home to the lovely nursery that had been set up for awhile; pink and blue elephants and hippos all over the walls. It was adorable just like our bundle of joy. My wife had been tuckered out to say the least and needed a nap; to which I said to go ahead and I’d watch the baby. My wife passed out from exhaustion and I shut the door so she wouldn’t be disturbed. I played with my daughter looking at this angel we had made. She opened her eyes and I saw those beautiful crystal-like marbles staring at me. I would be the man I knew she’d grow to trust and love before all others.
I held her, I talked to her, I sang to her; I was over the moon…and that’s when it happened. The worst thing that could ever happen to anyone, let alone a new father, came to be and at my hand no less. I was holding my baby girl when my hand snapped shut breaking the baby’s fragile neck. Her life ended instantly not even ten hours after bringing her home. I was heartbroken, of course, but my wife was destroyed when she had woken up to my cries to see what I had done. I single handedly threw everything away. My wife left me and she, herself, went through years of therapy before finally committing suicide, overdosing on painkillers.
You see, doctor, when it happens I don’t really get any control at all; not even emotionally or mentally. It’s as if my hand has a mind of its own and when it takes over its mind takes mine over as well. I’m not exempt from the pain, either. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been urinating when my penis would end up in a painful death grip. Throughout my school years my fingers were constantly splintered by my hand breaking pencils at random. I needed someone to talk to about it and I was told you were the best and so I’m here.
…And, as you can tell by my hand around your throat and your eyes blacking out, that I have far from evaded my…affliction.
Time is up, doctor.