By Josiah Hackett

A wheel is a tricky object to steer when a hand is trying to get him into its driveway and “hang out.” A hill is hard to navigate when a hand is touching his knee, wanting him to pull over and talk to it. A hand is difficult to smack away when it pushes its way past his arm attached to his hand attached to the tricky steering wheel, navigating down the hard hill past the hand’s driveway. Victimhood is easy to gain when a hand does this to him. And when something is done against him, he feels like he deserves it. Deserves it, just like he deserves the hand that found its way across his face when he was younger. He must have done something to deserve it. Otherwise, why would he suffer like this?

He was trying to make good with a hand because he had had luck with hands in the past. He, a boy burgeoning upon the age of 19, was trying to find a niche at a university which had forgotten about him before he matriculated into the school there. It all started when a hand signed off on some papers saying he would not be getting a full ride. In fact, he would be paying out of pocket for being at this prestigious and glorious state school that everyone and their dog was getting a degree from. Then another hand decided to use its mentoring power to show on its phone everything that this boy did not want to do with his degree, persuading him to not pursue what he had been dreaming since nine to do. This boy, one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten years later makes this decision to find one degree. No, two degrees to make up for the almost three years spent in this unfortunate circumstance. Meanwhile, he gets fired from his job of six months due to a seven-year-old who wanted another drink with the food he just ate. The older brother, probably nine or ten came up to the counter asking for another drink because the nineteen-year-old boy did not give him the receipt. The whole family got free drinks and a free bowling game. Why not give them the entire bowling alley while they were at it? And why not become a victim then?

The nineteen-year-old boy finds another job helping with opera at this university, which was starting to become nicer, but not after another hand cheated on the boy and two other hands decided they rather play tech decks with other, cooler hands.

There was a hand directing opera who had been with the boy since the beginning of his journey at this university. He took the boy under his tiny wing and allowed the boy to fly for a bit. The boy found a spotlight, not to be in, but to control. His hands were moving back and forth between widening and tightening, red and blue, love and joy, yellow and green, happiness and envy. He wanted to be in that spotlight, but found he still loved control more than attention.

Through this opera, he met a hand who controlled the faders and scenes of the lighting console for production. This hand looked nicer, much more manicured than the hands that came before. This hand was a tiny hand much like the boy’s hands. And much like the boy’s hands, this hand valued control. Control over what was to happen in the show, and what was to happen next. The manicured hand pointed to where the spotlight was meant to go. It convinced the opera-directing hand to give the boy more duties. The boy was overwhelmed with more and more. And still he wanted more to do. The more to do for the boy, the less he had to think about the troubles elsewhere.

The manicured hand had the perfect remedy for the sores and pains of having to think about current situations. The manicured hand recommended to the boy an antiseptic cream of going to Westlake where the boy could control a spotlight once more. Because control over what he could do was everything the boy dreamed of besides his failed major, his job of six months, his mother’s bad living situation, his future wife wherever she was, and his debilitating depression. All these dreams were filled with visions of hands taking over whatever project he had going for him at that time, whether it be his band who had broken up or his board games he loved so much.

The problem is that the boy wants everyone to feel bad for him. He wants victimhood. When people interact with him, he doesn’t want to hear what they have to say, encouragement and all, he wants to complain about all his ailments, lost dreams, and forgotten projects. He wants to say, Pity me. I have it the worst. Let’s compare horror stories. Not waiting for an answer, he continues, I’ll start. I drown in hands, nothing but hands drown me. They find themselves across my face, around my neck, gripping my shoulder, on my lips, in my soup, on the roof, around the corner, in my dreams, in my nightmares, and, recently on my thigh. The boy, who is out of breath after his long-winded sigh of discomfort, which happens after many horror stories are told, doesn’t listen to the horror story to follow because he is wrapped in whatever hand is committing an atrocity to him at the moment.

Identity is a tricky quandary for he who is taken over by hands that crawl around like the boss at the end of the game, Super Smash Brothers Melee. Muddling around in the mud of who he can be or should be finds a paradox where an answer could be. Victimhood seems like a  simple mud pile, but can easily turn into a sinkhole within seconds, a pitfall on the journey of finding who he is. Gaining this as part of his identity changes how he interacts with the world. Everything tends to be everyone else’s fault, rather than his. He points to Job saying, Don’t I have a right to complain? Yes, he does, but he also has the privilege to forgive. He can forgive the hands who have done him wrong in the past and leave the hands there to pick up the pieces of his heart, which still bleeds redder than ever before.