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Short Reads

Hexagonal Structures

I callously discuss my skin’s poor resistance to friction.

My dear colleague Adam got married this month, at an oceanside aquarium beneath a stylish hexagon I’d helped him assemble earlier in the week. I used a manual screwdriver to start most of the fasteners before finishing with the power drill. This display of physical prowess earned me blisters in three places on my dominant hand.

As a child, when something like this happened, I would get called weak. Honestly, then (as now) they would be factually correct, although I’d prefer to think of it as my being capable of putting more torque on a hand tool than my skin can take. I don’t think my skin is particularly soft, but it’s always been this way: I remember getting blisters from sweeping out the barn with a push broom at one of my first jobs. I would trim or tear the skin off and keep going, somehow never quite developing the callouses characteristic of a stronger person.

Perhaps it’s because I approachd a variety of unrelated activities with the same vigorous intensity, each one interacting with a new area of my fingers and palms. At any rate, a solution to this problem appears to have been devised by others some time ago: I recently purchased a multi-pack of work gloves, which I hope will have the additional benefit of protecting any recent manicures as well.

Sequoia the Cat in her new home.

One may recall that, theoretically against my will, I continue to find myself cohabiting with a cat. While working on the structure, Adam’s then-fiance called from her bachelorette weekend to let him know she had found a stray cat. Throughout the day, I mentored Adam in my most effective techniques for resisting feline incursion—within 24 hours he, too, had a cat. I dare say he has accumulated even more cat-related paraphenalia than I have: the apprentice surpasses the master. Much like Bast, Sequoia is quite lovable. I, however, remain immune to feline charms, which is why I readily agreed to help look after her during their honeymoon.