Profiles of Common Things

Profiles of Common Things No. 2: Hand

Hand

Fleshy, boned and muscled thing, too terrible to contemplate for long. Severed, connotes helplessness. Large, connotes brutality. At the five extremities of such a thing dully gleam translucent shells that guard the tenderest of areas.

A “right-hand man” is a traitor in comrade disguise, or a thought-less dog — most often the former. A “left-handed man” is a genius in the arts, or a madman. “Lend me a hand” — a proposed transaction in which fairness can never be absolutely guaranteed.

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