February 28, 2008

I have washed my hands every hour that I have been awake since getting off that plane. I use many different kinds of soap: Dial, Ivory, Basis, some flower-smelling stuff my wife picked up at Costco, laundry detergent if there’s nothing around.

Sometimes my knuckles crack and bleed, and the splits between my fingers hurt more every day. But I still can’t get them clean. I still feel the sand under my nails. I still feel the warm slick of my friend’s blood when I press my hands together to pray.

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