Elan Morgan is a writer and web designer who works from Elan.Works, a designer and editor at GenderAvenger, and a speaker who has spoken across North America. They believe in and work to grow both personal and professional quality, genuine community, and meaningful content online.

#562: THIS IS ABOUT MY FINGER

This is about my left middle finger.

On Tuesday, I was filing, filing, filing. I was making new file folders. I was alphabetizing. I was shifting files around to make room in overstuffed drawers. Near the end of the day, I took on my least favourite part of of this task: filing in the WH-Z drawer. That drawer is the very bottom drawer in a sad little corner, and frankly, it is depressing to be crouching down in a dark corner over a dusty filing cabinet drawer singing the alphabet song to yourself.

I had a file destined for the Zs in hand and was just about to file it between the ZEs and the ZIs when the drawer started closing of its own accord. I grabbed at it with my left hand, which landed on top of the upright files. With the drawer still sailing back into its cabinet, two file folders colluded to pierce my left middle fingertip and slice tidily through the flesh, bending in together as they scissored past to cut a neat, pointy wedge.

Several droplets arched upward, shining bright under the fluorescent bulbs. I jumped backward into another cabinet, threw the file I was holding onto the floor, and grabbed hold of my middle finger to stop the blood flow.

Fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck. Fuck. Bloody hell goddammit.

While I was finding bandaids and disinfectant, my vision went all dark around the edges, and I knew that I had to sit down soon or someone would find me face down on the linoleum and bleeding from a papercut. I spent the next while sitting in a chair dizzy, ashen, and applying pressure to my finger with a string of tissues that seemed to do little to staunch the blood flow.

Schmutzie, you're so pale! Are you bleeding?

Yeah, yeah. I'm bleeding. It's a fucking papercut.

You're kidding. Let me see.

It's pretty gross. As soon as I would removed the tissue, bubbles of blood would jump up through the precise slits at the top of the wedge and run down the sides of my finger.

You had to push that chunk at the tip back in, didn't you?

Yep, I sure did. I nodded my pastey face to confirm it, feeling like a complete idiot for acquiring such a ludicrous office injury.

Since Tuesday afternoon, I have had the tip of my finger bundled up inside bandaids. This morning, I decided to air it out, because it had turned wrinkly and white, which I am sure is not beneficial to the healing process. At first, I didn't notice any particular smell, and to be honest, I wasn't expecting that there should be a smell, but a smell there was. My finger was ripe. It smelled kind of like cat litter and dirty belly buttons and sweaty feet.

I applied scented hand sanitizer to it, but as soon as the alcohol had evaporated, the smell returned. I washed my hands with the scented foam soap in the bathroom. The smell returned again. I re-washed my hands with the scented foam soap in the bathroom, taking extra care under and around my fingernail, and then moisturized with a scented lotion. THE SMELL RETURNED.

So, here I sit, typing all this out as though it is history, but it is not. My finger, it still smells. The sourness of it wafts up from the keyboard where it is presently typing Ds, Es, and Cs. How is it possible for it to be so foul? I have disinfected, washed, and moisturized it. I have let it dry out. I know that applying all kinds of scented things to it is likely not good if there is infection, but that's all I've got at the moment. Could it have gone fungal? Necrotic?

This brings to mind a man I used to know. He was missing half of his middle finger on his right hand. He found typing difficult because of it, so his doctor had a prosthetic half-finger made for him. The half-finger prosthesis was longer than his original finger had been, and so his typing was still terrible. Eventually, he gave up on it. Also, the prosthetic half-finger made him feel like a loser of an amputee. Like he was some kind of wannabe, a pathetic excuse for one of the maimed. He learned to type with the four remaining fingers on his right hand and relegated his prosthesis to a life of cheap party tricks.

What I'm saying is: I'm willing to lose the end of my left middle finger if it means getting rid of the stench that it produces. I am going to do another few rounds of sanitizer, soap, and maybe some peroxide if I can scare some up, but if that doesn't cure it, what else can I do? I definitely can't take this thing out in public with me, although if I did, that smell-my-finger joke would suddenly be way funnier.



NaBloPoMo 2006The above entry has been brought to you by the self-inflicted forced march that is NaBloPoMo 2006. Two posts down and twenty-eight more to go. I'm sorry about the above smelly finger story.

UPDATE: I just found the NaBloPoMo Randomizer, which was set up by Lane. Now you can go and visit random NaBloPoMo-ers ad nauseum.