The Guillotine

I got my hand cut off—the one I write and touch with—the perfect hand to sever.

I walked to the end of the paved road and reached a cul-de-sac. A boy waited for me there. He came from Poland and wore a fur hat. He displayed a miniature guillotine, one that was made for hands. I looked at the blade and back at my fingers. My nail polish was purple, which I didn’t like anyway. I asked myself what the problem was. Was it the permanence of the act that scared me? People did permanent things all the time. It was like getting a tattoo. I put my hand in the guillotine and chopped it off. Or he did. I was left with a stump—a short arm that could not grab or hold on to anything. I could only smooth out whatever was there. What the hell was I thinking getting my hand cut off like that? But it was too late. The stump
 did not bleed. It simply drip-dropped down.