Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Hand of Fate


While on the bus from Apia to the ferry, a strong, fit man sat next to me on the aisle with his three left hand outer fingers individually bandaged. He was a Samoan fisherman hired aboard a large New Zealand fishing boat plying the South Pacific waters in search of skipjack and yellow fin tuna. He showed me his hand and told me how his fingers got caught while using a block and. tackle. He related how he saw the tip of his severed little finger dangling by nerves and ligaments. He was happy he still could move his fingers, how the boat company flew him to the hospital, and would pay for his medical expenses. Yet one could tell his concerns about the future.

As the bus continued, a mother with her young family boarded and sat across the aisle from the fisherman. The fisherman began to tell his story to the woman, but stopped as the mother began to speak. The fisherman then pointed to her 10 year old son who had stubs for his right index and middle fingers, a result of a cherry bomb.
Someone once described life as years of tedium and a few moments of terror. The terror, we all fear, had suddenly changed the courses for these two people and those close to them. How fickle fate can be as we cower in the presence of its ominous

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