I guess I have been getting a lot of attention around our house lately, what with the colonoscopy and all. But did Jeff really have to go and cut off his finger to swing the pendulum back his way? It's pathetic what some people will do for attention.
We'd just come home from having a glass of wine and a small bite down the street and I was setting up the iPod in the kitchen while Jeff was cutting up some fresh basil. All of a sudden, I heard something behind me to indicate pain -- I don't remember the noise but it made me turn around and by the way Jeff was holding his finger, I realized he'd cut himself.
So I followed him into the bathroom to help him run the finger under the faucet. (Watching is too help.) There was serious blood, everywhere, and when we saw his finger -- middle one, left hand -- we realized something important. PART OF IT WAS MISSING.
All of a sudden there were major hysterics. Tears, hyperventilating, lots of "Oh my Gods". I mean me, not him. I dashed back to the kitchen and looked down at the cutting board.
And there it was. PART OF HIS FINGER. The fleshy tip. It was bloodless and it looked sort of forlorn. I flipped it over and could see where the layer of skin stopped and the flesh began in varying shades of pale. The last layer of skin looked sort of lacy at the edges, with the swirls and sworls of the fingerprint shining through from the other side.
Lest you think I was admiring it so philosophically then, let me draw you a more accurate picture.
ME: [crying and screaming] "Ohmgodohmygodohmygodohmygodohmygodohmygodohmygod. Oh honey, it's bleeding. Ohmygod you cut your finger OFF! YOU CUT YOUR FINGER OFF! Look! Here it is! Do something with it! Ohmygodohmygodohmygodohmygodohmygod."
HIM: [calmly] "I'm fine, will you just get me a bandaid?"
ME: "YOU'RE NOT FINE! YOU CUT YOUR FINGER OFF!"
ME: "So? YOU'RE GOING TO BE DEFORMED!"
HIM: "Will you please get me a bandaid?"
ME: "No, you need stitches. Ohmygodohmygodohmygodohmygodohmygodohmygod. I'm going to call 911."
I dashed back to our old style rotary phone and dialed 911. Aside: I think if you get all the answers right to the questions the 911 operator asks you, you should win money, like on Jeopardy. Because when you're hysterical, figuring out your address and phone number and all the other bazillion questions they ask you is really, really hard.
Anyway, I told the lady that my boyfriend had cut part of his finger off -- OFF! -- and she was all, "Woah." And I was all, "I found the part he cut off, can you tell me what to do with it so they can reattach it?" So she starts giving me instructions -- totally counter-intuitive, I might add. "Do not put it on ice. Do not run it under water. That could damage it and ruin chances of reattachment. Find a clean plastic bag like a Ziploc and place it in there."
I dashed back down the hallway, turning on the lights for the ambulance as I did so they could find our apartment. I grabbed a Ziploc and ran back into the bathroom. While I was on the phone, Jeff had tried to get a bandaid himself, and there were wet bandaids and half-torn bandaid wrappers covering every square inch of the bathroom from sink counter to floor. "Where is it?" "It's not there?" "No, I don't see it. Did you put it on your finger?" "I don't know, I might have washed it down the drain "WASHED IT DOWN THE DRAIN? WHY DID YOU DO THAT? OHMYGODOHMYGODOHMYGODOHMYGODOHMYGOD."
I grabbed the sink drain and yanked it out but I couldn't see a finger nub. The only logical thing to do next was cry harder.
"Why are you crying?" Jeff asked me. "Because you're going to be DEFORMED!" I wailed. I'm the kind of woman who makes him change his shirt and use hair gel when we go out, so it stands to reason a physical deformity might get my panties in a bunch.
About that time the paramedics came. I considered asking them to take off their shoes -- we don't wear them in our apartment because of our pristine white carpet -- but the possible deformity won out and I shooed them in.
As soon as they made sure he wasn't bleeding to death, they sat him down and unwrapped the dish towel turban from his finger. They found the fingertip -- Jeff had put it under the bandaid, thankfully. You could tell they were totally disappointed. Obviously they were hoping he'd cut it off at the second knuckle or something. But then we got the bad news.
"They won't be able to reattach this, sir."
You would be proud of me. I handled the news really well. NOT. I started crying hysterically again. Then about 17 more paramedics arrived and started asking me for his ID, to get my shoes and my coat, that we'd be going to the hospital. I was definitely having flashbacks and I think that's part of why I was so upset. One of them, Mr. Tough Guy, says, "Hey, who's the guitar player in the family," and points to one of Jeff's guitars and his 800-pound very manly looking amp. I eyeballed him for a second before answering with THE OBVIOUS. "Hey, I did the same thing to myself at the fire station," he tells us. "See?" He showed Jeff his presumably deformed finger. "It looks a little funny but it's okay."
After much consultation, Jeff decided not to go to the hospital. All they were going to do was clean it, Mr. Tough Guy's partner told us, and since it was bleeding so profusely it was probably pretty clean already. They walked Jeff back into the bathroom and bandaged it for him, giving him instructions for changing it. I sat on the edge of a hard chair in the living room, my coat on, staring out the window. I think I was in shock. Would I really have to make dinner tonight? It was HIS turn.
On their way out the door, Mr. Tough Guy and his partner said, "Hey, man, take it easy. Let your wife take care of you." I narrowed my eyes at them. "I'm onto your man schemes," I said. They chuckled. I tried not to attack them from behind for the ways their huge man-shoes were leaving filthy paw prints on my white carpet. They had been helpful, after all.
I guess the finger throbbed something awful the rest of the night, but I wouldn't let Jeff have any Advil because it makes you bleed. With luck, he'll be in a bandaid later this week sometime, but the bleeding isn't going to stop completely for quite a while. "You won't bleed to death or anything," Mr. Tough Guy told us. Thanks for the reassurance, dude.
An hour behind schedule, we sat down to bowls of spaghetti aglio e olio and watched another episode of Heroes. Mid-way through, I looked at Jeff "Does this mean you're going to have a different fingerprint?" He looked back. "I bet it does." He chewed thoughtfully for a moment. "Man, I wish I had robbed a bank yesterday."