An Arm and an Eye

“Well my arm, yea, always been kind of shaky. I was climbing a tree when I was six or seven and fell landed on a barbed wire fence. Ripped right into the bicep. Pretty clean cut, considering these barbs aren’t exactly fresh out of the sharpening factory. I was able to get good function back soon, but something about my ions or electrolytes just makes it go wild. Not like it’s trying to go all War Room on me, but testy. Can’t hold the wheel with it or I end up in the ditch.

So last week I’m cutting onions. For chili. Big game to watch. And I’m getting all emotional, the onions. My pop calls to chat about our bowl game odds, and I’m holding the phone with my shoulder to my ear, and these onions, there’s a like a box of them, it’s a big game, I’m making a big batch. And I’m cutting them with my right arm, the good arm. Dad can hear me sniffle or grimace or wince and it’s like he’s watching me, like he can see me through the phone line and asks me what’s the matter and I say nothing I’m chopping onions and I start to raise my right arm, my forearm up to wipe the tears cause I’ll like full faucet Oprah right now and my pop thinks I’m all upset that we aren’t going to win the the game or something. Like I’d just lose all hope and telecast that to him over video. And as I’m lifting my arm my left arm just jumps. Clenches.

My left arm is now barreling at my face at warp factor, and, OK, so I’ve punched myself in the face one too many times, and I try to stop it so I don’t give myself a ringer and my right wrist, the bottom of it, stops my flying hand. Well, tries to stop it. And my left hand catches the bottom of my wrist and the phone shoots out of my shoulder/face grip and starts to soar towards the stove and I’ve already kicked over the dish of cat food below by this point, while my cat was eating. Taco. His name’s Taco cat. It’s a palindrome, get it? Taco gets hungry when I make chili and I’m not going to make him just sit there while I’m cooking all kinds of goodness. I gave him a scoop of the masterpiece once and let’s just say the wife hasn’t quite forgiven me for the blotch on the sofa. If I get another cat, I might have to name him Burritotirrub. If you have anything better, I’m all ears.

(chuckles to self )

So the cat shrieks cause basically I boot him and the food into the face of the oven, the door was closed. Like, not into the oven. Basically a wall, from the cat’s perspective. And my left hand catches my wrist and at this point I’m trying not to deep six the knife since there was a serious cat-in-landing-zone threat, and I clench my hand as much as I can, I think, I mean my eyes are fixed to the right on the phone that is tumbling to its end, and it’s one of these all metal knives, got like steel grips if you can call them that, and my left arm is just charging through, like this is way beyond twitch and into full load-bearing curl, and the knife just barely slips from my hand and falls up and back into some seriously restricted airspace where my left hand is shooting for the moon by way of my head and it just jams the bottom of knife perfectly perpendicular to me, which I can just see out of the corner of my eye, which, of all the things to be looking at in this scene right now, you wouldn’t think it would be the phone.

And the knife is torpedoing at my face and, well I couldn’t exactly see the knife. A knife pointed directly at and approaching your eye looks like an antennal docking space ship, if you can picture that. And I think my right hand finally gets full executive order from the guys upstairs to seriously kick in and start saving the mouth it feeds, but by that time the knife was probably already totally through my eye and into socket and bone and I swear I must have hit some deep deep memory chapter cause for that brief instant I smell the flowers that my mother planted by the trees in our backyard that I would hide in as a kid, a scent that fast forward some thirty years I just now finally again experience. Lilacs, I think.

And a curtain just swept across my eye. And my right hand, protector of all things good, is like totally set on me not havingthe knife in any part of me. And before I could even think about whether or not just leaving the knife in there like they say, my right hand just rips it out and in one motion hurls it towards the floor and it, I’m telling you I tried to throw knives once and it is just impossible to get them to fly like an arrow like in the movies but this thing was a harpoon over the sun and I swear it had my cat’s number, but that animal must have like sonar or telepathy cause it does what any animal of Darwin does when a sharp pro jectile is headed its way, it jumps out of the way, the knife just barely licking it fur in red. And that damned cat probably thought I was trying to kill it: you know what it does? It fucking bites me.”

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