Jul 6, 2004

And thiry-five cents is your change

When I drop change into a customer’s hand there's this brief brush, a momentary touch as my unfolding fingers rest in their upturned and open palms.

It’s a momentary touch, but in my world of where physical contact consists of a few handshakes a week, it’s almost electrically shocking. I could set the change on the counter or drop it into their hands from above, but find myself, without planning, feeling the texture of palms and fingers. It’s intimate and yet anonymous, strangely ordinary.

I thought I’d learn something about humanity, about types of people by types of hands. But apparently hands are rough or smooth, cold or warm, soft or calloused and without regard to sex or race, class, age, style or occupation. It doesn’t make any sense that the construction worker’s hands are soft and the girl’s are rough, the mom’s hands cold and the old man’s warm, the lawyer’s calloused and the bus driver’s moist. I don’t know, there doesn't seem to be any meaning in it, just these human hands I seem to want to touch.