With or Without you (Ode to a thumb)

A fully functional thumb is a thing of beauty, said some really mediocre poet.

 

See the liner smudged on my eyes

See the zip undone on my side

I’ll wait for you

 

Slip of hand and twist of waist

on a picnic rug, fell all my weight

Now I wait, without you

 

With or without you

With or without you

 

Through the storm we reach the shore

Washing my hair is not easy any more

And I’m waiting for you

 

With or without you

With or without you

I can’t live, with or without you

 

And you give yourself away

And you got bent the wrong way

And you’re bandaged like a lump of clay

And you shouldn’t really look that way

 

My hand is tied, my thumb is bruised

You left me with a bandaged wrist

and not much I can do

 

And you give yourself away

And you’re kind of the wrong shape

And I don’t know what else to say

And typing this has taken all day

 

 

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23 Comments

  1. Haha, I sang along, very good! And sorry about your poor thumb 😦

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  2. Oh, poor thing. I sympathize, I really do. I once slipped in snow and fell backwards bending my thumb in exactly that way. Then, just as it was getting better, I tweaked it again when opening a heavy door and catching my thumb on it. I had to treat it with care for quite a long time.

    More recently, I had to have minor surgery on the middle finger of my right hand. Until the job was done I didn’t realize how inconvenient the result would be. For several days I had to avoid typing with that finger or doing tasks such as washing-up. Wearing kitchen gloves protected it while washing myself, and I transferred the hard work from the right hand to the left.

    I did manage to type fairly well on the computer keyboard while keeping the wounded finger raised out of the way. In any case I am largely a two-finger typist. I would describe my keyboarding skills as ‘fast but inaccurate’. The backspace key is my best friend. Typing therefore did not cause much of a problem other than the awkwardness of posture and a few extra typos.

    I believe trained typists use their thumbs on the space bar. This is a refinement of practice that I have never achieved but if that is how you operate then I sympathize because the sinapses will continually be directing you to use your thumb. Ouch.

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    • Ouch! I do indeed normally use my thumb to hit the space bar. At least I’m typing this reply on my phone where, unlike anyone under 40, I don’t use my thumbs & instead type with one finger.

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      • Same here. I envy the bright young things who type away on their phones using both thumbs but cannot emulate them. Either the online keyboard’s too small or my fingers are too thick. Slow and steady with much backspacing is my style. At least I have weaned myself off using a stylus. M

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      • I’m the same – using thumbs to text just doesn’t work for me. By the way, I hope that your thumb and finger are now fully recovered! It feels strange to me, to get this far through life (let’s say mid 40s to be kind) and then have amy first ever physical injury that requires prolonged bandages and the ongoing answering of queries about how I injured myself. It’s as if it’s revealed to the world a new, daredevil side of myself that even I wasn’t aware of.

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  3. so great , i sang too- hope your thumb is better soon

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  4. weebluebirdie

     /  March 22, 2017

    Scans beautifully:-) Missus will love it. She’s Mister B’s number one fan;-)

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    • Which scan better? The song or the thumb? X-rays were all clear apparently despite the fact that the thumb looks misshapen to me, if I take the bandage off. So I put the bandage back on again & try to be optimistic.

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  5. weebluebirdie

     /  March 23, 2017

    The lyrics:-) I fell off my bike a while back and got a very bad thumb. It was a bit black, very swollen and slightly squint. Much worse though were the circumstances of Bike Incident. I’d only had it a few weeks, having got to the ripe old age of 47 before getting my first bike! Perhaps a mountain bike was a tad ambitious….Anyway, there I was cycling along when I saw a group of teenage girls ahead walking up a small hill. Anxious not to look stupid by running out of puff half way up the hill, I decided to get off and push. But before I could do that, I got bike stuck in a muddy rut and promptly keeled over. Needless to say, the girls fell about laughing.

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    • Oh my, that is sad. Being laughed at when you have an accident is unkind and humiliating. I’m sorry to hear that – I hope your thumb has recovered! (I’m anxious for good news stories of thumb injuries). I know so many people who’ve had accidents on bikes lately that you wouldn’t get me back on one very easily. My boss fell or was knocked off her bike, and was concussed and blacked out, and she was on a bike path when it happened, so you can’t get much safer than that! (she can’t remember what happened due to the concussion).

      My accident occurred at an outdoor Martha Wainwright concert where I had been putting off going to the loo (toilet) because I am also anxious not to look silly, or in fact to even be looked at, by 5000 people, and we were (due to a slightly obsessive Martha Wainwright fan who was with us) sitting right in front of the stage, so there were about 5000 people sitting behind me when I stood up and then immediately slipped on someone else’s picnic rug, which was not weighted down by anything and just slid under my foot when I stepped on it. Of course everyone asks if I’d been drinking and I had been, but given my normal clumsiness and the OHS risk lying in my path, I think the accident would have happened either way. Maybe if I’d been completely sober I might have landed better, instead of seriously bending my thumb out of shape. Who will ever know?

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      • weebluebirdie

         /  March 23, 2017

        Well exactly, with a touch of inebriation you would have bounced harmlessly. Having said that, I have spent much of my life falling over for no apparent reason. My Mum said that when I was wee, I would be standing beside her while she chatted to someone, next thing she would look round, and there I would be lying flat on my face – falling down from standing still is quite an achievement! It means I go through life unsurprised when I fall over; and have so far managed to do it without any broken bones. But – in the last couple of years I’ve been having more painful injuries. Heck, last year I got my first sports injury!!!

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      • Hmm, that is a new level of clumsiness that I have not yet achieved, falling over from a stationery position. What’s with starting to get injuries in our 40s? I thought I was a bookish, insidey-type person, now I’m feeling like quite a daredevil as I go about brandishing this bandaged hand and wondering if strangers might think I had a rockclimbing accident or used it to punch someone in the face a bit too hard.

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    • Strangely enough, by the way, my thumb incident happened when I was 47. More evidence that we may be twins.

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      • weebluebirdie

         /  March 23, 2017

        By sports injury I mean while out running – wasn’t counting the cycling. Not sure my way of cycling amounts to ‘sport’; of course the same can be said of my running. An unkind friend refers it to as ‘jogging’; which it is, but jogging is so 80’s. Being a runner sounds so much more dynamic 🙂

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      • I’ve had a few sports injuries in my life: I sprained my ankle, as a kid, while swinging on one of those 2-person swings & putting my foot down to stop it a bit too early, and I also suffered a very bad sunburn playing tennis and had to spend the next week indoors bathing my tomatoe-colored skin in luke-warm water and vinegar. A valid sports injury.

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      • weebluebirdie

         /  March 26, 2017

        Yup, I too am a peely wally redhead and have had a lot of sunburn incidents. Just as well it’s only Scottish sun – I would be a fried tomato in Australia;-)

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  6. This is the most beautiful song I have ever read. In tears here. Really. I have new appreciation for my opposables.

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  7. I could’ve sworn I just read an elegant re-working of an Onob (his real name) classic that nobody told me had been written. I need a lie-down while my emotions undergo some essential maintenance.

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  8. It’s transcribed from a bootleg recording of Onob singing in the bath with a bottle of whisky one wintry Sunday night. I don’t think it’s ever been officially released.

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