These wrinkled, calloused hands; ah, how delicately they would slide across the piano keys and play Mozart's elegance. Now arthritis has left them crippled- mere shadows of the beauty they once held. Such strong hands they were. The satin skin that would offer a scarlet rose to a passing visitor of Tampa is now roughly etched with lines, each holding one story or another. Each fingernail curiously embedded in tarnished leather. The hands themselves glowing with vintage; radiance defined by blue-lit blood lines and white-sashayed pain.
These wrinkled, calloused hands that may open Pandora's Box on the days not plagued with rheumatism, releasing years of pent up agony and regret. A birth of regret that could have been prevented; instead, it was the prevention of birth that led to regret.
Someone once told me that the most dangerous place in America today is in a mother's womb. The protection you rely on the most just may betray your presence, leading to a romantic death of dancing within the acid rain. These hands led to that misconception. These hands encouraged- through pamphlets, articles and practice- the death of thousands. How cold my heart was, encompassed in the icy anesthesia I used on my patients. It ebbed my own heartfelt sensations as well as my patient's pain.
Now, as the rain pours down and the joints of my hide-bound fingers swell, I reconsider. These hands- the very ones which I hold this pen and use to dust off the keys of the piano, were weapons. Weapons which fought life itself. The Life I never considered precious. I myself never married, never had children, was never truly happy. Now I have uncovered the truth: I am alive, and I feel all the pain crowding in on me- something a living person cannot avoid. Empathy, I believe it is called.
I often wonder if my own reflections about life influence the girls' decisions. I was their hero- when no one else wanted them, I would take them and fix them, make them desirable again. When no one else gave them hope, I handed them a way out. When no one else saw their acts of dignity, I was their redemption. I played God. I stretched out my hand among the land of the living and stole from the entire kingdom. I stole the vital assets of the kingdom- the future.
Now, years since retired, I am haunted by the faces of those girls. The tears of anguish as they felt part of their own body die. A piece of life taken from them forever, a gaping hole never to be patched. I never attempted to follow up on any of the dears, not even regulars, but I am sure that those girls suffer the same mental trauma I do now.
The thing those girls shouldn't feel guilty about though..They did not murder. I was the one who murdered. With these hands, I willingly took one of God's creatures and destroyed it, sending it back to its creator, which He had so lovingly put in that womb for entrance in this world.
And now, just as the thorn on the rose bush lacks beauty and provision, I lack soul. Just as the water drips off the tip and splatters onto the bed of earth beneath it, I shatter into pieces as I fall onto the broken mirror of self acknowledgement. A sad distortion reflected through eyes of the unborn. I am now aware of that which is inside me- and I recoil from what I find.