507 words (2 minute read)

Pt. 1

“I should probably call it a night.” Genevieve feels her vision go soft for a moment as her hands power down. She’s wearing a long floral skirt so she wraps her arms around the neck of the danelectro and drags it over to the opposite wall of her dorm. Her roommate, Carly, is gone for the night, over at her boyfriend’s again. He’s a year older. Thank goodness for that, she sighs.

The window is open and the Chicago spring air washes over Genevieve like a warm blanket. Her hands are cold though at the end of a long day. She pauses to wipe her just-a-little-too-long bangs from her face. In-between finals she tends to just play guitar wailing from the sixth story window. I’m that girl now. She smiles and shrugs booting up her laptop.

A wide grey pad, companion to the old macbook pro on Genevieve’s desk, illuminates creating a field of tiny lights. She can hear the buzzing even if no one else can. She told Carly it was a cintiq. I don’t know if she believes me, but who cares. The reason her hands sit limp like cold fishes is because they are fake. But they’re mine.

Genevieve is used to the weird twitching as her extremities come back to life. She feels the humidity again on them as electricity surges from the recharging pad. Why do I still hold my breath? I know the routine. Thumb, index, middle, ring, pinky. Thumb, index, middle, ring, pinky. It’s like every single atom is waking up after a long nap. A small click pings around the room like an alarm. There. All done. She shakes her hands reclaiming their humanity for another twelve hours. I should get out tonight.

Instead Genevieve surfs the web, Jeff Mangum’s voice trickling out of the pathetically tinny speakers. I’ll be moving out into the city this summer. I’ll finally have room for my good speakers. There’s so much to look forward to, maybe I’ll get a cat even. I just want my own place then I don’t have to worry about hiding like Cinderella after the ball. If my eye can get a battery that never dies, why can’t my hands? She asked this question a thousand times since the accident. Humanity has always held vision in higher regard than touch. Seeing is overrated.

Closing the laptop Genevieve throws on a jean jacket and grabs a flask from the bedside table. Tequila turns me into a monster. “Keep cool,” she says to no one in particular as she takes a swig. Tonight she is seeing Evan Fields & The Neat Disease play at Lincoln Hall. Omar, the drummer, saw her do an open mic set at the Empty Bottle two weeks ago and invited her to see their show. It's just a few stops up the purple line. Who knows maybe I’ll jam with them later. That would be something. She takes another swig and does the finger test again for good luck before heading out the door.