Empowerment. Engagement. Authenticity.

Gimme Five - A Hands-on Guy

"Stop fiddling."

Shawn's long, square-tipped fingers traced the polished wood frame of the painting beside our table at the restaurant. His face stayed turned toward mine and neither his response nor the glide of his fingers was distracted.

"I'm not fiddling."

He was right.

Such fingers didn't fiddle. They investigated. They constructed and repaired.

"Wrists feeling better?" I asked.

"Yeah. Soaking them in Epsom salts was a great idea. Thanks." He flexed his hands, those constantly busy fingers moving along the edge of the table, clattering his knife and fork then settling on his phone. "Must have been a hundred lines of code I wrote last night. I should get you to look at a few of the screens, make sure things are laid out right." He lifted the phone, one hand a cradle while the fingers of his other hand swiped the screen.

We both get a good chuckle out of the Dove commercial where the girl, blind since her teens, claims she's the perfect person to test out the new shower foam because she navigates the world by touch.

"Have this picture in my head of her crawling on her hands and knees trying to find her way," Shawn snorted as we watched TV one night.

But here was Shawn, weeks away from releasing his own navigation app for pedestrians. And he couldn't have done it without those clever, persistent fingers.

A waitress appeared with our meals before he could pass me the phone.

I watched Shawn's fingers, no doubt still thrumming from their electronic gallop along keyboard roads the night before, strip the lettuce, tomato and onions from his cheeseburger with the single-minded intent of a man who knew exactly how to get down to business.

Often, I forget Shawn's fingers act as his eyes. He sees nothing but light and dark. Watch him splice together broken appliance wires, though, or manipulate jumpers on a circuit board or maneuver a king-size mattress up a spiral staircase and you'd swear he just pretends to be blind.


(c) Kristy Kassie, 2017


Gimme Five

Telling a story using a character's hands as his distinguishing feature.

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