I can remember more than anything the shock, the sheer surprise. I was trembling for the better part of an hour afterward. Of course, I was doing a lot of other things: getting dressed, making sure I had what I needed for the day at work, driving off, leaving coffee scattered all over the counter. But the moment itself was a brief intense moment of alarm, and then it fell off leaving me with the aftershocks.
I can well remember the pain: it hurt like billy-o for about five hours. The emotion at that point was of impatience and dull resignation; no curiosity whatever. No curiosity about the feelings, that is. I wanted to see the damage, but of course couldn’t bring myself to. Did not want a situation under control to get out of it.
Another surprise was how clear, how bright red my blood is, I remember that. By the time I cleaned up the original three large drops on the floor, they had dried somewhat. And that’s the dominant emotion: surprise, the sense of receiving things unexpected, the sense of narrowly having missed something worse.
I still managed to make a cup of coffee and even to drink it. The water had boiled while I was trying to stop the bleeding, the impatient kettle shouting. There was disappointment in the drinking of that hasty cup. I had to leave a mess, I had to go to work, it was serving no creative purpose and there was little enjoyment other than the satisfaction that this surprise did not terminally halt that enterprise.
It came after a morning of getting all kinds of things done. I was down to the last few things: had to take a shower, was going to wash up, have the last cup and then go to work. But I flipped the coffee grinder over while it was going in order to have the ground coffee in the lid. It escaped my nimble fingers, and said nimble middle finger was what actually stopped the whirling blade. That moment, not of pain, but of alarm, of heightened awareness unable to grasp the whole situation, and something gone very wrong was spontaneous and the overflow of powerful emotion leaked long into the day.