the man who was born with a ball in his handpublished: 2013-10-25
For a second I was tempted. It was only a split second. He had handed me his iPhone and it rested on my lap. I could read every message, all of it, if I wanted to.
The night before, I had gone out for drinks with a man. He had come out of his mother’s womb with a clenched fist. His left hand was holding onto something. The doctors forced his hand open and surgically removed it.
“A ball of some sort,” he said, “which was attached to the side of my hand.”
There were no scars in the palm of his hand, only on the side where the ball had been attached to. By a thread or string of some sort? A ball of what?
He didn’t know. It was the devil’s doing, is what they thought. His mother was surely to not conceive anymore children if she didn’t do away with him. And so his mother sent him off to his grandmother’s, in a far away village. The ball? It was buried somewhere or maybe burned. He wasn’t sure. But how could he not know?
Because he had promised his grandmother he’d never ask his mother about it. His grandmother is now dead. His mother, however, is still alive.
I told him he had to ask his mother, he simply had to.
But he shook his head.
“No,” he said, “I made a promise.”
“And so you’ll never know?”
“And so I’ll never know.”
I tucked my boyfriend’s iPhone in my pocket where it rested, quietly and peacefully.