• Vol. 10
  • Chapter 11


As a child, I often saw my grandmother rubbing her knuckles, complaining of arthritis pain and stiffness, squeezing squishy toys and flexing her hands over an invisible typewriter. That didn’t stop her from preparing my lunch, slicing Velveeta with red thread wrapped around her fingers. She’d place the cheese on bread and toast it for me, then cut it into three thin strips. The melted cheese would ooze onto her knuckles and she’d raise them to my mouth so I didn’t have to let a single bit of that gooey goodness go to waste.

When she died, I chose a ring she wore once she couldn’t put on her wedding ring anymore. It’s gold with red and blue stones that make me think of the night sky. She said her mother gave it to her as a child, and I love the evolution of her wearing it again as an adult. It’s so big that I now wear it on my middle finger. Sometimes, I can still feel my teeth scrape against her knuckle, never tearing her tissue paper skin.