There are lines enough on my palm for it to have dodged this errant knife. Like an axe gone astray from sweaty arms, it struck right at the roots of my thumb.
When we were younger, we took each other's palms into our own and spun tales of a future that had not a trace of my tumultuous grays of twenty years.
That was before we knew that if a line run deeps, it doesn't foretell the coming of wealth but merely that one fist was clenched tighter than others,that long fingers didn't necessarily portend a cancerous death because pain wouldn't be saved for the end, that the right palm mirrored the left and it didn't matter which one we chose because there would come a time when the foretaste of future wouldn't taste so good and we wouldn't wait breathlessly for crystal balls nor practice the palmistry of consensus.
Yet I listened to them through Hindi dictation classes and periods of play that we could still wring out of rainy days. And a great many fortunes were told.
The how-many-children one, the one that ran the longest before falling into the tanned sea of the back of my hand, never mentioned a a foundling of disremembered dreams. The line that fell headlong through my wrists to meet swooning bloodspouts never said that I would live many lifetimes through a life that would be two middle-finger-breadths long.
They didn't see the little flecks that first flowed, then flooded through the fortuitous delta of of lifespan, love and lucre,before banishing it underwater, where like dying mermaids,it will turn into the endless foam of the sea.
Nor did they see smudged pencil marks resisting erased oblivion, Jakcson Pollock shadows, footprints of faraway crows etched already into an aging skin ,and a line of crosses awaiting crucifixion.
Nor did they look so far into the future as to see this resolutely red line that has picketed my palm, tearing down every film of skin that tries to broker a scab, refusing to leave, refusing to heal. A jagged red of scraped paint, it tells me that old schemes of colour,like old schemes for life don't ever fade.
6 months ago