Saturday, April 12, 2008

How Terrible

I just remembered that I used to know a boy in high school who peeled his hands. He was a tall, thick, quiet boy with straight hair like a wet cap. He peeled the skin off his hands to the point that he sat in class with a bloody kleenex wrapped around parts of his hands at all times. Or maybe he had some kind of hand peeling disease that made his hands peel without his intervention. The point is that I sat next to this boy with the bloody rag in his hands and made absolutely no sort of contact ever. His behavior was categorized by me as aberrant and I ignored it. And him.

I don't remember his name, but I'm not surprised about that. It does surprise me that I felt no kind of comradeship with this boy, in fact I had a habit of tearing up my cuticles, at stressful times to the point that my best friend throughout high school and college would sometimes be moved to say, "Look, your fingers are like little Christmas trees!" This is the best friend, best friend for ten years, who revealed in her 2004 memoir that our friendship was based on my being mean and her being self-abusive. Or did she say that she stayed friends with me because if I, vicious troll that I was, could be nice to her, then she must be "cool." I can't remember which explanation she settled on, after offering both, I must admit I read those bits quickly.


  1. I think you just didn't know how to deal with the boy who peeled his hands. The teacher should have made inquiries, though (maybe she/he did).

    I think it would be AWFUL to find out your friend felt that way about your friendship through a book. If it were me, I think I wouldn't be able to forget what she said; I'd torture myself with it.

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