[A gLOVE Story]
The ampersand is essentially a link, a hook, a yoke, a joint, connecting two entities & in doing so it is about relationships. This is the story of such a coupling, an out-of-the-ordinary one, between a woman & a hand.
It began with a small newspaper handbill wedged among the pages of the Daily Whorl:
COME TO THE H&.
It said—a telegram text strip—the solicitation paired with a simple drawing: an outline of the appropriate limb, all five fingers sheathed in accent-stitched material, the index pointing as if a fingerpost, like a glove advertisement. No telephone number, just an address on Broadway where the trolley stopped, near Wall Street. Ida—nicknamed I.—knew the area; she worked in the vicinity operating a typing school for the deaf.
I.’s shoes were too tight & so it took her brain a moment to realize that & meant and: the notice was imploring her to come to The Hand.
I.’s feet started walking in the right direction, on their own; self-propelled. I. had no control. She was going to THE H&.
Twenty minutes later I. found herself inside a tall office building where wooden doors lined poorly-lit & interminable labyrinthine hallways. The top half of each door held an opaque glass panel decaled with gilded block letters naming the firm it led to, in this case:
HANDWORKS / gLOVEMAKERS
An open-handed glove silhouette was painted beneath the words. I. stepped into a pitch-black room—no light, no windows. But there was a hand & it shook hers. A disembodied “voice” attended the bodiless limb—not a vocal articulation, but Morse-Coded knuckle-cracking. Being an expert in non-verbal forms of communication, I. understood The Hand perfectly.
After the polite handshake it explored her body—a scurrying crawl like a wild spider. This was one naughty hand, as if a zookeeper had cast it loose upon the world to reach its full potential as a free hand—a captured tarantula, now uncaged & run amok.
It took I.’s clothes off with five wily digits faster than any man had ever done with ten. The Hand fondled her, from tip to toe, discovering the most sensitive parts, not all that difficult to locate. A lot could be done with one hand; it massaged her, lingering on anatomy capable of pleasure—fingering, kneading, hooking itself into her like a comma. The Hand entered I.’s body every which way—its excited perspiration acting as lubricant—putting fingers within her, bending her over a padded ottoman & fucking her until she screamed in the darkness, almost shattering the door’s textured glass pane. The Hand had I. lick her own juices off its fingers.
The Hand tickled & lightly slapped the pink pencil eraser between I.’s legs until the rosy kernel swelled & I. flowed like the East River. The Hand spanked her backside, creating overlapping red shadowy handprints. One could see them if it wasn’t dark. I. enjoyed whatever The Hand did to her—open to anything while under its spell. The Hand didn’t “speak” much, though occasionally a dot-dashed handgasm crackle would bounce off the close walls.
I. would go talk to The Hand & it would listen & while she pled her woes The Hand would idly fuck her with a digit or two as she lay on the ottoman—belly down, skirt up—her physical appreciation making a monologue increasingly difficult.
After their brief courtship The Hand went home with I. at night & slid into her bed, caressing her nipples until they stiffened, creeping betwixt her legs & pleasing her till the sun rose, flipping her around smooth baby blue satin sheets.
She did not have to feed The Hand, wine it, amuse, talk or sing to it, but when she did banter or trill it fluttered extra-specially. The Hand was the perfect lover: always hard; ever-ready; indefatigable; never got cramps, not even writer’s. & if it had a face, this hand, I. knew it would be very handsome.
When I. had a headache The Hand would massage her temples. When she lay on her brown velvet sofa it would feed her green grapes. When she took a nap after their glovemaking, The Hand would loom in a corner playing jacks, throwing a bright red ball into the air, scooping & catching & when it tired of that The Hand would play with itself. The Hand would sketch I.’s portrait freehand while she slept, read a handbook, or write her love poems in beautiful handwriting, dipping I.’s purple fountain pen into a crystal inkwell. For a less ornate token of its affection, The Hand managed a neat one-handed peck on I.’s shiny black Royal typewriter. The Hand was handy around the house: it couldfix things—soaring towards the ceiling to change a lightbulb, adjusting tilted pictures highon the walls, hammering errant nails, going over molding tops with a feather duster. It would dial I.’s Bakelite telephone, handing over the receiver when the requested party was on the line.
They went for walks around town. The Hand lodged beneath I.’s red lace underpants—fucking or fingering; hidden inside her like a secret—guiding I. through the city streets like a reined horse, with pinky & thumb pushing into buttock flesh, directing their path right or left. When The Hand was not within I. in a fondle it wore formal attire: a crisp white cotton glove, holding a collapsible black silk opera hat when the occasion was fancy, or gallantly carrying I.’s handbag.
Sometimes they simply held hands, hand & glove. If people stared I. did not care. She had always needed a hand, could really have used a hand, & now she had one. She was proud. The Hand would unclasp itself from hers only to sign I love you, I. or I love I. To gether attention, The Hand wouldform the letter I: pinkie extended, the other fingers closed in a fist. The Hand would often take that pinkie & insert it into I.’s plump & welcoming behind, making sure to rinse off in a birdbath before entering her more slippery opening, all the while I. holding The Hand’s white glove as the five fingers did their merry handiwork.
The Hand would float around her as they promenaded, assuming poses, doing Mickey Mouse glove moves & gestures—in its Mickey Mouse glove—shaping itself into punctuation marks: an &, a % sign, a # symbol, an *, an @, a $, a ¢, a ?, an !, quotation marks, a comma, a parenthesis. The Hand made music & danced by snapping fingers, knocking on doors & other surfaces or tapping on lampposts. It was a regular Fred Astaire. When The Hand was of good cheer it would swoop & steal a few hand organ revolutions from the grinder in the park or do handsprings on the grass, out-of-glove so as not to sully the white fabric.
When they rode the double-decker bus down Fifth Avenue,The Hand would grip an interior pole or hover just outside the window, a dove escorting the motor vehicle.
They frequented the Horn & Hardart Automat in Times Square. The Hand would hold a ceramic cup underneath the nickel-plated coffee dispenser while I. slipped a coin into a slot & turned the crank, activating a hot brown stream cascadingfrom a chrome dolphin spout. I. ate chocolate cream pie off green-on-white patterned china while The Hand played with finger food & tried to feed I. macaroni & cheese or baked beans with a fork—either choice two nickels,procured by turning a chrome-plated knob & opening the glass door of a tiny compartment. The Hand was fascinated by the rubber-tipped fingers of the “nickel throwers,” the female money-changers sitting in cashierbooths.
They went to Macy’s, where I. panicked, momentarily losing track of The Hand, but finding it again, rubbing elbows with elbow gloves at the Ladies’ Furnishings counter on the main shopping floor. I. took The Hand by the hand as if it were a misbehaving child & left the store.
One Saturday I. had an appointment with the swanky hairdresser facing the Plaza Hotel whose specialty was finger waving. Her auburn locks were manipulated into a headful of quivering ampersands with fingers & stiffening gel. The Hand kept I. company as she sat under the hairdryer while the curls of punctuation set, relaying the story, in sign language, of Father Hand’s tragic demise—how it flew into the plate glass display window of a glove shop on 34th Street, thinking it had happened upon a family reunion, fatally unaware of the transparent barrier & crashing instantly to the sidewalk, a lifeless broken bird. I. cried & cried; The Hand grew clammy. They fondled each other for comfort, The Hand stroking I.’s moist furry lips under her red-on-pink polka-dotted dress, I.’s hand meeting her finger-painter lover from above the chiffon, the other patrons none the wiser.
On weekends, weather permitting, I. went horseback riding in Central Park. The Hand placed itself between the saddle & I.’s jodhpur-breeched rear, pleasuring her as she posted, inperfectsynchronicity.
With the first buds of spring,they motored beyond the city, heading north on the Henry Hudson Parkway in I.’s Chrysler sedan, venturing as far as the Finger Lakes, The Hand fondling her personal spot much of the time—once it got past her silk salmon-hued tap pants & avoided entanglement in thegarters holding up her stockings—playing with the warmswollen aperture beneath her girdle, just enough to excite the driver without distracting her from the road. If I. needed to reapply lipstick or adjust her hat after a strong breeze, The Hand seamlessly handled the gearshift. When The Hand wearied on these long excursions it covered itself with a handkerchief & took naps in the glove compartment. On cool evenings, with the window rolled down, The Hand sat next to I. on the sand-colored upholstered frontseat, wrapped in a thick handtowel.
In the summer they luncheoned out-of-doors under a gazebo at a restaurant on Riverside Drive near Grant’s Tomb, The Hand lolling in a cool-watered finger bowl, refreshing itself from the blistering August heat.
One humid night I. left the bedroom windows open & The Hand flew out, presumably returning to the downtown office. I. was not worried. She would go find it the next day.
The following morning I. went to retrieve The Hand. She turned the knob on the HANDWORKS / gLOVEMAKERS door & entered the darkness it concealed. An orgy of hands—a living sign language chart—attached themselves to her body like leeches. Some wore gloves; others were bare-handed. Was this a repository representing other hands like the one she’d gotten to know, paralleling relationships like the one she’d shared with The Hand? Had they all been summoned back to Handquarters?
I. was well-handled: pawed, fondled, caressed, spanked, twirled, poked, stroked & tweaked. Every part of her was riddled with fingers; every orifice filled or prodded. She called for The Hand but could not be heard above the collective flapping. The hands lifted her into the air. Some held I. aloft while others peeled off her streetclothes & undergarments until she wore nothing but garter belt, stockings & striped pumps.
A medium-sized finger with well-trimmed nails landed in I.’s mouth. She sucked until her saliva welled. After a few moments it was gone & I. felt a medium-sized wet finger plug her behind like a dike hole; it dangled from her rear, a straphanger.
The remaininghands, now all gloveless—cradlingher from toes to crown, a hand circling each breast—parted I.’s legs & took turns fucking her, fisting her, one after the other, as she wiggled in delight with each of their thrusts. Some were thin & bony—mere fingerlings—others corpulent, yet all of them hard as the graceful hands on marble statuary only fleshy & yielding. The hands not actively fucking provided a percussive chorus—a primal beat of rhythmic finger snaps, claps & knuckle cracklings to encourage & accompany the carnal activity. I. came repeatedly, mazed in a handful of ecstasies, her private juice spread around the room from hand to hand, finger to finger, until she eventually lost consciousness.
When I. awoke she was supine, draped over the ottoman like a hand-knit throw, a dim bulb duskily revealing the tiny space. Her clothes were scattered on the floor in the aftermath of what resembled an explosion in a polka dot factory. Otherwise, the closet-sized office was filled floor-to-ceiling with uninhabited gloves, uniformly the right hand from a pair—some white cotton, others leather in various shades—each worn, torn, damp & bearingI.’s intimate perfume. One, though visiblyempty, appeared to still encase a hand. Its thumb & forefinger met, holding a formal ivory-stock engraved visiting card, as if the untenanted shell had proffered the object during a gentlemanly bow. In raised florid script it read:
I WILL gLOVE YOU.
I. spotted a portal in the wall, fastened shut with a hook & eye. She dressed herself & waded through the piles of inanimate glovesto investigate, hobbling & limping on half-destroyed pumps, one heel missing. She opened the wooden hatch & daylight met her violet eyes. Beyond was Manhattan, but I. could not determine the time of day: there were no people on the streets; nor automobiles, carts, horses, busses or trolleys; no screeching trains on the Elevated spanning the Brooklyn Bridge. Aside from stone buildings, all I. could see for mileswas an endless flock of ungloved hands—thousands of them—soaring, gliding, sweeping, doing loop-de-loops, making figure eights, some of them signing words of uttermost obscenity, others in gesture: forming commas, question marks, percentage symbols, dollar signs & ampersands.
Author’s Note: My inspiration for this story can be found at www.animationarchive.org. (Click on top sketch for enlarged image).
© 2010 EllaRegina. All rights reserved. Content may not be copied or used in whole or part without written permission from the author.