A List of Stressful Activities That May or May Not Have Contributed to My Left Hand Going Numb
Meghan Lamb

I held my hair back in my left hand, or more accurately, wrung it, wrung it up into a thick tight tidy rag. I wrung out the water post bathing and wrung out the product I put in to hold it up, twisted till my forehead skin was pinched and puckered.
I stared in the mirror for hours just picking and pinning it, wringing it out so I could see how it should look. I liked the way my puckered forehead pinched off the fat of my face. It pulled my eyelids, lips, and cheekbones all together in one swoop.
But soon as I let go, my face would start to fall apart. The dirt-like droplets on my lashes dripped down to my too big lips. My pores stood out sore from my freckles, collecting the grease from my gathering tears.
Then I looked puffy, somehow saggy too. My cheeks dangled down like the sad sacks they were. Not to mention my hair would just hang there like a wig made out of worms.
I'd suck in my stomach and measure the space with two fingers. My left hand clutched my stomach where it didn't want to stay.
I traced my thumb around the buttons, pressed the button at my belly. I breathed in, breathed in, breathed in again instead of breathing out.
I told my stomach hold in while I belt you back in place. I cranked the little thingy on my Mermaid Barbie doll.
Her hair grew longer, longer than my hair could ever grow. I braided her hair into three little braids, then I balled it all up in a bun.
I scrunched my hair up in a scrunchy. I wished I could squish all those wriggly jiggly worms. I'm a wriggly jiggly wiggly worm now, I said to myself.
I'd get gross things stuck on me and wiggle them off of my hand. I'd flick off the boogers, the bug bits, the pimpley puss. I powdered puffs of fluff. I patted down and smoothed the surfaces. I sprayed on a spritz of perfume so I smelled like a just slightly worm-scented strawberry.
I brushed and brushed and brushed and brushed until I thought I'd brushed through all my little brain cells.
My hand started picking my head apart, pulling my hairs out one at a time. My fingernails got gooey gunk stuck up inside them. I tried to scrape one nail with another nail. My hand made all my nails dirty that way.
I painted my nails bright red so the dirt wouldn't show.
I bought little bangles and baubles. I wore a ring on every finger. Some rings had stones which told my moods in case I was forgetting them.
The moods were colors, periwinkle purple, violet blue. Sometimes I was happy and sad at the same time.