Wednesday, 11 July 2012

The time I nearly lost all my fingers . . .

But at least I didn't nearly lose my thumbs. Opposable thumbs are what keep humans at the top of the food chain.

Fingers help us write about it.

Hands are so useful!
OK, so this isn't really a near-death experience, but remembering it is freaking me out. Because somehow all this talk of near death had me remembering this only last night. And now that I remember it, it's freaking me right out!

I was about 9 and I'd moved to Melbourne with my Mum. I was at a new school and was making loads of new friends. There was an afternoon barbecue in the school grounds attended by loads of students and teachers and parents. It was a beautiful afternoon.

My life until now had been very white bread. Monoculture surfer kiddie who'd grown up by the beach.

Instead of surfers, I was surrounded by Greeks and Italians in my everyday world. These were my people. They instantly LOVED me and kept giving me food.

This was the first time I'd ever seen a whole lamb on a spit. Mmmmmmmmmm. Lamb. The smell. It's like a cuddle from nanna from the inside. You simply know life is good when there's a lamb roasting away with lemon and garlic and rosemary and the fat is spitting into the coals.

Kids everywhere, bikes, scooters, tag, skipping rope, elastics, knuckle jacks. It was a playground, people. I sat on the ground with my friends and leaned back, my hands splayed out ready to rest on something.

My fingers found their way evenly through the spokes of a passing bicyle. I couldn't see where I'd put my hands, but I knew in that split second I hadn't put them somewhere very safe. It felt metallic and strange and as the bike moved on, I had that bizarre feeling that I wanted my hands back now please.

I rolled over with the bike as I pulled my hands back. The kid on the bike stared back at me and yelled "watch it!" I was embarrassed and shocked and scared.

But I still had all my fingers, tightly into my hands. Fingers that, were it not for fast reflexes, would have been little more than bloody stumps.

In shock, I ran to find my mother, who was chatting away with our Greek and Italian neighbours. I told them of my brush with amputation and they surrounded me with love. And then they gave me a plate of roast lamb and salad and everything was instantly better.

Ever since then, I've appreciated my fingers every day.
Not that way! Oh you people, get your minds out of the gutter! :-D

1 comment:

Heather said...

Yikes! A writer without fingers would be a sad thing indeed. Thank goodness for your quick thinking!