Even though it is not officially the crucifixion season, I have poked a hole in the palm of my left hand.
I was trying to open a bottle of olive oil. Maybe it wasn’t the finest olive oil in the world, as it had a metal screw top, like a bottle of Night Train (mmmm, Night Train), but it was all I had, and the damned cap was supposed to come apart at the perforation when you turned it, and the top part becomes the removable cap while the remaining ring, having done it’s job of maintaining the integrity and security of olive oil on the store shelf, is just, the, uh, remaining ring.
But the cap didn’t separate from the ring. The perforation notwithstanding, cap and ring were bonded. I could turn the entire assembly, but I couldn’t get the top off.
Naturally I got me a big ol’ carving fork to use as a tool. The squeamish should probably skip the rest of this paragraph. The Amish, too, maybe. I jammed one tine of the big fork into the perforation and heard a satisfying sound as the two metal pieces started to separate. It felt good, so I kept poking, prodding and digging. But the cap, while it would not come off, was able to spin freely around as I dug at it, so my efforts were getting me nowhere. To stop this, while avoiding the accidental poking of the fork into my hand, I placed my hand flat on top of the cap and applied pressure to keep the cap from spinning away from my fork ministrations. I was making some headway, but in no time my hand was sweating and the cap was spinning again and I was getting frustrated with the stubborn perforation, and I wanted me some damn olive oil! So I carefully wrapped my hand around the part of the cap that I was not poking at, and held it steady. And rammed the big fork deep into the palm of my hand.
“Shit!” I yelled. But that was just anger at having slipped. A few seconds later the pain arrived. “Shit, shit, shit, shit, SHIT!!!!” I yelled, as my entire body broke into a clammy sweat and blood started gushing from the hole. I thought maybe a little piece of tin from the bottle cap might have got lodged in the hole. I stuck my hand under the cold water faucet, and the pain intensified. It was like the time that hooker pinned me to the floor with her stiletto heel that night at The Palms Motel in East Hollywood, only she weighed three hundred pounds instead of… Well, that’s another story.
Why, at moments like these, does my mind project ahead to scenes of driving to a hospital, filling out two thousand forms, sitting in pain in a waiting room for nine hours, being ridiculed and clucked at by nurses, having the wound “cleaned” by a drunken, sadistic doctor and then undergoing two hours of microsurgery to remove the piece of fork and insert a pig’s tendon and magnesium screws into my hand, and then be sent home with Tylenol “in case I need something.”? Why is that?
I don’t know, but I can tell you that if I had been the Son of God and had to die for the sins of all you evil fuckers, I would have chosen lethal injection.
So anyway, it’s going to be all right, even without the pig’s tendon. Call me a crybaby. And maybe I didn’t win absolution for all of your sins, but you know that thing you did last night, with the cat and the electrical cord? You’re forgiven.
Go in peace, my children.