Hands of Time


It wasn’t often he had time on his hands. Normally, there was nothing but a shortage. Yet, somehow, on this rainy windy morning, he had time; time to pick and chose, time to use or waste, time to wonder.

He studied the clock above the work bench hanging among the menagerie of tools. The hands were long black sticks with arrows on the ends pointing to the numbers on the face. It was an old fashioned clock, the old man thought. A clock much like himself, he smiled.

Reaching for the tube of Arnica Lotion, he unscrewed the cap and squeezed a dime size amount into his palm. Ivan slowly massaged in the therapeutic lotion, concentrating on his swollen fingers. His thoughts were on the many half finished projects he’d accumulated, much like all the half finished dreams stored in his mind. Never a shortage of either, it seemed.

The hands of Ivan’s had been chubby and dimply when he was a baby busily pushing and pulling and exploring with all the time in the world on his hands.

His teenage hands banged on a typewriter, gripped a baseball bat, and grabbed for food every chance they got. They were a young man’s hands that could spell trouble if they’d had too much time on them. Yet they weren’t allowed time, so there had been very little trouble.

Examining his hands, Ivan realized how much they’d changed. His hands had looked much better decades ago. They had been long slender hands with long slender fingers. A pianist dream hands. He didn’t play though. Music wasn’t his thing. Building and fixing were.

The scar cutting across the palm of his right hand felt numb as he rubbed it. He’d had very little time on his hands the day he’d nearly cut his thumb off and had been in a real hurry.

Yet today, there was plenty of time; time to pick and chose, time to use or waste, and time to wonder.

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