Friday, January 28, 2005

She had a thick bumpy white line of scar tissue closer to the palm side starting at the middle knuckle running down to the hand and then back up to the middle knuckle of the next finger. Between each finger a similar scar ran. Noticing my gaze as I held her hand lying next to one another, she said, “It’s where they removed the webbing?”
Not really processing what she said, I repeated, “webbing?”
“I had webbed feet too. Like a duck.” She said matter-of-factly without shyness or embarrassment.
“I didn’t know that happened. Why did they remove… cut it?”
“Purely to look normal.” She gave a quick shake of her head like when you see someone doing something stupid. “I was very little. And at the time I was quite happy to have it done. And agreed when my parents suggested it. Now. It makes me a little sad. So few of us have anything truly unique about us. Even a genetic anomaly is a welcome difference.”
“I’ll tell you what. I don’t mean to boast. But, I have a bit of uniqueness about me. I know something that very few people know. It is a fact so rare that even if I were to tell you. It would not lessen the uniqueness of it for either of us. Not many people get two chances at being unique. What’d you say?”
“Okay.” Her eyes widened and a smile splashed against her cheeks with a child’s enthusiasm. “What do you know?”
“I know an English word that rhymes with orange.” I quickly added. “I know. It’s not the secret of enlightenment or the answer to why men have nipples. But, it truly is a tidbit of knowledge that only a select few know. Are you still game?”
“Sure. Forget about why men have nipples. Why do you have such small nipples? They’re like cat nipples.”
“Hey! You’re not making a very good case for me to share this with you.”
“I’m sorry.” She said between giggles.
“Alright.” I leaned over and whispered my morsel of the arcane.
“Oh. Yeah. It does.” she said with surprise.

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