Jenna Van Hout
Jenna Van Hout is an independent designer & artist in the Bay Area

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Digits

I nearly lost a finger this weekend. I was using an immersion blender like a food processor, and I tried to clear some debris from the blades with my finger. My other finger was still on the trigger. You can imagine what happened next. 

I'm still not entirely sure why I did this, or why I didn't think about how dangerous this action was. I'm fairly certain that I just didn't think.  

My initial feeling was shock from the force of the blow. Is my finger still attached? It looks attached. Now came the blood. Can I bend my finger? Are those flaps just skin or more than skin? I can't see very clearly through the blood and the salad topping I had been pulsing. I rinse it quickly, thinking about the garlic and lemon in the concoction. It burns. At least it's naturally anti-bacterial. Now control the bleeding. I grab paper towels and hold tight. My finger is throbbing. At this point I realize my alone-ness, and am relieved to remember that there are people working down in the shop.

I go down the stairs and approach Thomas, Trip and John at the chop saw. "Can I get a second opinion? Should I go to the hospital?" I ask with surprising calm. John spins into action, grabbing the first aid kit. "Ahh, that's nothing," he quips, and starts to bandage me up. He comments on my shaking fingers, and shows me a few missing finger tips and scars of his own.

I seem to have got off easy with 4 lacerations, one of them slicing through the middle of my fingernail. All the cuts are somewhat shallow though, so I don't anticipate any lasting damage. Mostly just a bruised ego and a short break from climbing. 

I'm grateful that John was there. Even though we're technically all grown ups, he's really seen some shit in his days. It's a blessing to live in a wood shop with a badass retired builder dude in the back. 

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