My Primary Feeling, Annotated, During This Dark Age | By Jill Witty
Updated: Apr 17
I 1 miss 2 holding 3 your 4 hand 5.
1 Not merely the self, the first-person subject pronoun, but also the collective I, the individual that represents all humanity, allowing and expecting that any person might adopt or appropriate this statement, which is open to all, and which, perhaps, is shared by, alas, too many
2 The emotional act of noticing, feeling, and regretting an absence; as well as the physical act, the failure to connect, as when a baseball bat swings but does not hit the ball, or when a dinner napkin is thrown in the trash from a distance, and the arc of the projectile falls short of its target, touching nothing
3 To grasp, yes, but also to keep from escaping, as with small children near a busy street, as well as to support, to bear weight, to steady, as on a steep climb, or a walk over uneven ground, but mostly and especially, to entangle one with the other, to entwist and entwine, as in marriage vows, as in unconditional love
4 Both the singular ‘your,’ of or belonging to one specific person, as well as the collective ‘your,’ (seven point six billion humans) times (two hands each) equals roughly fifteen billion such appendages, repudiated and unheld during a time when physical contact may transmit deadly particles and “you” must, therefore, remain distant
5 A sensory phalanx of 17,000 mechanoreceptors, working in concert; a miracle organ that massages a neck, lifts a heavy suitcase, opens a jar, waves goodbye, applauds a piano performance, tucks a blanket under a child’s chin, flips a pancake, writes a love note, scratches a dog’s belly, high-fives and fist-bumps and tickles and finally, when placed in my own, reignites, recenters, and restores
Jill Witty is writing her first novel from Florence, Italy. A winner of the Writer Advice Flash Fiction Contest, she has also been published in Defenestration, Reflex, and Flash Fiction Magazine. Find her online at jillwitty.com or connect on Twitter @jwitty.