11 October 2001
Buried in some acid-yellow Seventies reverie; a plump blister my madeleine
"I GOT BLISTERS ON MY FINGERS!!!" Well, actually, that's not strictly
true. On my palms. Before you start thinking that I've grown a penile
manstick and got me some friction burns, let me state that these blisters
originated in a bar in Shoreditch on Saturday night, whilst playing table
football. Mmmm, table football.....
Babyfoot - this last must be said in a deep pan-Euro accent: baåb-ee-
foøoôøt - how do I love thee? Well, enough to wake
up with two water-filled lozenge-shaped blisters on the palm of my right
hand on Sunday morning, that's how. This discovery filled me with a certain
joi de vivre as I pushed through the Brick Lane Sunday market crowds
to get supplies for a brunch-time sail in good ship the bed. Pregnant
with tiny twin amniotic sacs, middle and ring fingers folding in, caressing
their charges, palpitating proudly: bliss. You may think all this blistertalk
is disgusting, of course - to which I would say that you do not know what
you are missing, you scared self-hating little runt of a (wo)man! Of all
the creepy bodily functions, the production of blisters, scabs and - best
of all - pus are so my favourites!
Blisters score pretty low on the scale, to be honest, as eventually stilettoes
make trenchfoot sufferers of us all. Scabs are more unusual, though a
good vodka-blackout session can provide delighfully skinned knees the
next day. But pus, well... (there must be a more elegant word than 'pus',
surely: I feel I am compromising my femininity with every one of those
three keystrokes) ...pus is something to be savoured. *
*Ok, not literally. That would be sick, man.
Pus is something I have experienced with exceptional rarity during my
(not-so)-short time on this planet. And, frankly, nothing will ever live
up to the Great Pus Experience of Autumn 1979. Imagine. I am your average
British Seventies Child - dressed in velour outfits with appliqué
cherries, drinking milk at breaktime through a straw, running amok at
lunchtime, collecting chestnuts at tea-time: the usual. One day, a splinter
of chestnut-spine lodges in my left index finger. Dad does the Scary Needle
Thing (Dad: 'No of course this won't hurt, Amp - I'm just going to pierce
the skin, ok?' AMP: 'AIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!') but fails
to remove the entire intruder.
Three days later a yellow-filled sac of impressive proportions has arisen
on the end of the finger - not unlike E.T.'s magically glowing digit,
I might add - and little AMP is hoarding it like a secret, afraid of the
tortures Dad will devise for such an ailment. Piano lessons are attended
where only the right hand can be used. Classes are endured with left hand
thrust deep in skirt pocket, while the fingers of the right hand claw
shakily at an unfamiliar pencil. Evenings are spent gazing in awe at the
finger with its tiny, hot burden: the skin stretched, fingerprint visible
as never before.
The expulsion takes place under controlled circumstances. It's Dad and
the needle again: my hand held fast under the circle of lamp-bright, my
little body rigid with anticipation and terror. The point punctures my
cushioned fingertip. I await a pain that never comes. The liquid grows,
flows, responding to the palpitations of my by now interested other hand.
The tissue soaks. It's sublime. Absence of agony, a blossoming finger
blooming colour across 4-ply: a solicitous father in a cardigan, cuddling.
Sunday-morning babyfoot blisters were similarily hoarded; but such pleasures
cannot last forever. Nature will steal your gift from you: reasbsorbing
the liquid in doleful anticlimax, or worse, ejecting it - premature ejaculation
- leaving you smashed and wet-smeary without your approval. Best grab
pleasure while you can, which sees me standing in the bathroom at midday,
safetypin unhinged and sterilising in the flame of a This Belongs To Debbie
lighter, thence - ahh, transcendent - slid under the skin. Pop!
This is the exquisiteness of the body that no computer can emulate. Cybersex?
Easy; obvious; a sledgehammer on a peach; the Yates' Wine Lodge of virtual
simulation. Cyberblister? Never gonna happen. These rubs and flaws,
these cuts, this chafing, bruising, bleeding, healing - these are the
real pleasures of the flesh. Pass me those strappy sandals, would
you? I'm going hiking.
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