Who would have thought a grown woman in her late 20s would jam her pinkie into a fan? And, of course, I'm talking about a fan that's on. Not me, and especially so since I constantly tell the kids not to go too close to the activated fan (I work in an environment with very small children coming and going). But jam my pinkie into a fan, I did. Right in front of the kids, too.
I am not going to dwell on how it happened, but I actually hurt myself pretty good. I had to teach a class right after it, so I pretended nothing was wrong for the next 50 minutes despite the numbness that I did feel at first was slowly turning into a fireball that had its own beating heart. When I actually took a good look at it afterward, the head of it had 4 good gushes across it, and the blood that stained in and out of the cuts were more purple than scarlet. I started going a little bananas at the thought of "what if I had stuck it just a little further...?" and had shivers down my spine. I have a tendency to make jokes when I should be rightfully scared shitless (I think it's a bit like being high on the seriousness of the situation, does it ever happen to you?), and I was making a whole lotta jokes by then.
Then, A came to me, saying "Lemme see your finger." I said, "I'm fine," as if I was actually asked how I was. It wasn't a question. Not responding to what I said, he went on. "You should put some ice on it. Or, do you have a first aid kit here?" "No, I'm good. Don't worry." (<- me being stubborn here). A is working at our office only for three days, and today was his first day. He is sent from the head quarter to help out a situation we have. But anyway, he didn't know where things were around the office, and, seeing how I wasn't cooperating with his attempt to help me by finding the items in question, asked another coworker where they were, and came back in a minute: didn't say anything, just took my pinkie and took a look at it, put a cube of ice on until the entire thing is melted. As he did so, he gave me an instruction on what to do tonight for the cuts when I get home. Think I was actually listening to what he was saying at this point? I was rather melting with the ice.
He genuinely just wanted to help me. Not because I am a woman. Not because I am going crazy and speaking in my high-pitched fast-speed voice that I was. He helped me just because I had jammed a bloody pinkie into a spinning fan and now it's bleeding and swollen and purple.
You know, I had forgotten what it's like to let a man take care of me... wow, that feels so sad typing. Yet, seriously, when did I become so protective of myself from feeling a little needy of a kind and even manly gesture? When did I start reading too much into his intention, and doubt that it's genuine? When did I let having a pinkie with 4 gushes and sheds of blood on it become not worthy of a kind attention from a man, especially when I'm actually in a little pain? When did I make it even an issue? When did I start drawing the line so thick? I mean, what would it take, when a pinkie is actually chopped off all the way? Will I then actually admit that I could use some help? What a sad, sad person I had become?
I might have come a longer way than I thought after I took a turn on Guardyourself Lane off of Brokenheart Street. A little further this way, and I might have stepped without realization into Cynicism City. And, you know what, I have a feeling that I can still bail myself out from the direction I had taken. It's not too late. Not yet. I'm going to turn back while turning is good.
And, might I mention, my pinkie feels a lot better now.
Until next time,
p.s. Very special thanks to A who doesn't take shit from a woman in pain.