Red Hand Truck: Part 11 – What Happened

I woke up at 3 AM and I could feel my hand stinging. Not terribly but it was a dose of reality. It was not a tingle; it was a sting.

I quickly hopped up and slammed a pill because I didn’t even want to feel it. I sat down at the kitchen table to wonder, now what?

I could call my boss at about 5 AM and I wondered what I should I tell him? If I didn’t go to work, he would need to cover my route. Someone has to work; this is the way it is.

He would have to come from the city, I would have to meet him at the warehouse and inventory every chip and cracker in the truck and the warehouse, and then he would cover my job. That would take 2 hours right there just to inventory. It would take 4 or 5 hours if I counted from the moment I was sitting there to the point where I would be on the other side of this, to include his travel time. That, plus I get a cranky boss. They do not make it easy to call in sick to Frito Lay, especially if you work in the country.

And what should I tell him? Come down for a day? A week? 10 days? Forever? I didn’t know. I just didn’t know what to do so I decided to go to work. I am not really the type to sit still. I think better when I’m moving, so I washed up and was out the door at 3:15AM.

This was an hour earlier than usual. I had to see the doc at 3:00, so I had about 12 hours to do my route. I was behind from the day before so it was not near enough time, especially with one hand. I decided to do the best I could and at the same time see what I could do… how much I could get done.

I knew this was stupid but I really couldn’t think of anything smarter to do. I figured if I hung around at home, I’d probably start crying again. What good would that do? I was sure I’d feel better on the move and if it wasn’t going to work out, I could still call my boss at 5 AM.

On the highway heading to my first store, and the coffee I would pick up there, I felt pretty good. I liked going down the road, I still do. I popped a tape in the deck and started singing.

I sang something normal as if nothing had happened. I liked the early morning and tried to find my usual groove. I actually thought it might be a good day somehow but as it turned out the day is brutal. And it was inhumanly hot, too.

People wanted to know about my hand and I didn’t know what to say. I was behind because of it, and they wanted to chat. Oh brother. Even strangers had questions. People were driving me nuts with their concern, but I was doing it, though. I was working with one hand but it was grossly harsh.

If you asked, I’d have to say it was an obscenely hard day. 40 times I felt like giving up. I had to fight tears a few times but my hand did not hurt and eventually 2:30 rolled around and I headed to the doctor. No way would I show up late, I have Capricorn.

I walked into the office, relieved. It was pure hell out there and I was glad to be off the truck. I didn’t finish but decided I wouldn’t work any more that day because I felt really beaten.

I was not going to go to the warehouse either. I’d load in the morning, if I worked in the morning. Will, would be waiting there, I was sure of that. He’d be starved for gossip but those are the breaks. I just didn’t feel I could deal with him. I knew him will enough to know he would put the screws to me today. He would go after real information, in relentless fashion and I didn’t feel I had the energy to hold him off. I didn’t have the energy for anything actually.

I was early at the doc, but they were ready for me. I walked right into the exam room and the doctor stared at me.

“Elsa! Did you go to work today?” he asked.

Uh oh. Busted. I guess it shows when you’ve been in a tin truck all day in 105 degree weather.

“Yes I did.”

He didn’t say anything. He looked pissed. He was truly pissed but he moderated his reaction and I was glad because I was tired.

“Let’s look at your hand,” he said. “You were not supposed to go to work today. I will think about what I am going to do about that. I should have put you in the hospital.”

I kept quiet and let him scold. I had been getting in trouble most my life and it didn’t bother me much, if at all. I saw the pan of blue soaking water and I saw him switch gears and stuff his anger.

“Okay, Elsa, before I touch your hand, how does it feel? Does it hurt? Can you feel any pain? I don’t want to hurt you.”

“I can’t feel it,” I said. “Go ahead, it’s good.”

He nodded. He was still pissed but he was trying. He started peeling back the gauze strips. Slow, slow, slow. If it were me, I’d do it fast, fast, fast but I keep my mouth shut.

He told me  he thought about me all night. I thanked him and told him that I made it okay. The pills worked and so forth. He told me he was glad he didn’t know I was on the truck. He said, if he had any idea I was out there he’d have found me and bodily taken me off the truck. If he had any idea, I was gonna do that… la la la and so forth. I just listened.

“You drove away from here in your truck yesterday didn’t you Elsa?”

“I did,” I said.

“Damn you,” he said. “I saw a Frito truck go by the window, and I thought…” He shook his head and I didn’t respond. I always do what I want because I don’t know any other way.  I don’t have any parents, this is why. He continued to unwrap the gauze. “Has it bothered you? Have you had any pain?”

“I felt some stinging this morning. That’s it.”

“That’s good. I gave you strong pills.”

“Yeah, it’s been good. It hasn’t bothered me at all,” I said.

He continued to unwrap until all the gauze was off.  Under the gauze was a sleeve type thing. It was like a thin sock. “You don’t feel anything, right?”

“Right.”

He said that he is going to lift it up. “Look away if you don’t want to see.”

I looked away. I felt him turn my palm away and I turned back to see him staring at my hand. He didn’t say anything and either did I. A long time passed and finally I asked, “What? How does it look?”

“It doesn’t.”

“What do you mean? What does it look like? It is better?”

“It’s gone.”

“What?”

“It’s gone.”

“What?”

“There is nothing on your hand. Do you want to see this?”

“See what? Nothing?”

“There is nothing to see. It’s gone. Look at this. I don’t believe this,” he said with a small laugh.

He turned my hand around to face me and I thought he was joking. Is this a joke? There was nothing there. It was just my regular hand and I wondered what the point was. Why was he showing me my regular hand? “There is nothing there,” I said.

“That is what I mean Elsa. The burn is gone. What did you do?”

“Nothing. It’s gone?  Maybe it just healed. That’s good isn’t it?” I asked.

“Good? Maybe it healed?  This is weird. Yes it’s good…I think. It’s weird. You didn’t do anything?”

I didn’t answer. I didn’t know what he meant. I went to work. I didn’t unwrap it. That was  I did.

“Don’t answer that. Of course you didn’t do anything. You went to work today. You didn’t do anything. You left here and went to work like nothing happened.”

“Yes.” I shook my head as it started to dawn on me. Did this mean I didn’t have a problem? “So my hand is better?” I asked.

He chuckled. “Yeah.”

“Cool. Yeah! So do I still need to soak it?” I asked.

He shook his head and he laughed. “You’re not normal. Do you know that?”

I stared at him curiously having no idea what to say.  If I was hearing this right, I did not have a problem. Well, I’ll be damned.

He looked me in the eye. “You don’t know that do you?”

“No, I don’t think I do,” I said. I was getting embarrassed wondering what I was doing in a doctor’s office when there was nothing wrong with me. I wanted go, it was embarrassing and felt kind of nervous. He sat there a minute holding my hand and I waited for him to let go of it. I wanted it back. Since it is not messed up, I mean. I wanted to claim it.

He laid my hand down on the tray like it was still injured and he walked over to the pan of blue water sitting by the sink. “No you don’t need to soak it,” he said in a strange voice. “There is nothing to soak. Nope. No. The skin is not even broken, Elsa. Nope. We won’t be needing this, he said as he dumped the blue stuff down the sink with a flourish.

“Really?”

“Elsa, look at your hand. There is nothing there.”

“I see that. It looks normal. That’s good, right?”

“Yes, it’s good but no it’s not normal. How did you do that? I want to know how you did that. You had a serious burn on that hand. Burns like that don’t heal over night and they don’t heal without scarring.”

I looked at my hand. “This one did.” I said with a chuckle.

He chuckled too and looked at me queerly. “You’re something else. You don’t get it do you? Wait a minute. Would you just wait a minute?  You look like you want to leave. Don’t leave. Just don’t go anywhere, magic Frito Girl.”

“Sure,” I said, smiling. I was happy as hell because did you hear? My goose was not cooked after all! My hand was fine.

He left the room and this is when I looked at my hand really well. I didn’t see anything. Well maybe a blushy looking spot but maybe not. There was really nothing there.

It didn’t seem remarkable to me. It was just my normal hand. It was my plain hand that I had always had.  The doc came back in with the scrubbing nurse.

“Looks like the town gets to keep it’s Frito Girl after all,” he said. “Elsa, show her your hand.”

I held up both hands, palms out. Both of them were regular.  She looked at the doc.  She looked aghast actually and the doc shook his head.

“Is that the hand you scrubbed yesterday?” he asked. “Is that the same hand? That’s the Frito Girl, right? Not an impostor? That is the same woman?” The nurse shook her head.

“Hey. I have no idea,” the doctor said. “She says she didn’t do anything to it. And by the way? That was her than went by in the truck yesterday. What did I tell you? I told you that was her.  And she went to work today too, can you believe that?”

Scrubbing nurse couldn’t believe that.

The doc came over to me, took my hand in his and looked at it closely, “I never thought I would see something like this,” he said, thoughtfully. “I have heard of things like this but I never… well, I didn’t think I’d ever see anything like this.

I felt embarrassed. I thought they must have saw it wrong, yesterday.  “Well, I didn’t do anything,” I said, wishing to escape. “Do we need to wrap it up?”

I wanted to get out of there.  Now that my hand was okay, I had work to do.  Do you know how far behind I was on my route? I missed a two whole towns and the line driver was coming from the plant with more chips on Saturday. I had to move some stuff out of my warehouse or he’d have no place to put my order. I had to sell some chips or else.

The doctor laughed. “Wrap what? Would you look at your hand? Nope, no gauze today. And look,” he said, pointing to a pile of rolls of gauze. “I was ready but there is nothing there so there is nothing to wrap!”

“Oh, okay, I said, feeling kind of dumb. “So you mean, I can go?”

He chuckled. “I don’t believe you. Yes! Yes! We won’t hold you up! You are free to go. Go! Go sell Fritos! Go back to your truck and sing. You’ve got a lot to sing about, Elsa and apparently you have no idea.”

He was right about that. It would be 10 years before I ever really thought about this. “Really, I can go?”

“Really. I guess this town is just supposed to have a Frito Girl.”

I smiled but I didn’t get that part either, I was just being polite. I had not had a chance to assimilate that people saw me out driving around.  I’d not registered it yet.

It kind of hurts to find something like that out but it’s the story of my life.  Everyone knows something, but me.  Common knowledge is something I don’t have and it bothers me.

I shook the doctor’s hand at his request. He said he wanted to shake my unburned hand and it made me laugh. “Elsa, next time I see you at Quick Stop, I’m going to say hello. Is that okay?”

“Yes!”

“And if I see you drive by, singing in your truck, I’m going to wave. Can I do that?”

“Yes!!”

“Am I going to be your doctor? Next time you need a doctor, are you going to come see me?”

“Yes!” I said, smiling. “And thanks!”

“I didn’t do anything. I’m good but I’m not that good. Go be happy, Frito Girl. You’re not normal.”

I left him shaking his head and went out to my truck thinking that it was a lot of to do about nothing. I wish I’d have known my hand was okay. I worked one-handed all day for nothing.

I drive off in classic oblivious style, only noting that it was nice to have two hands to steer with. I headed to the warehouse to find Will.

I figured if I told. Will I was okay, notorious gossip that he was, everyone else will be informed within the hour. Rainbo could bite me. So could the Coke guy, I was back.

The End.

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Red Hand Truck: Part 11 – What Happened — 54 Comments

  1. This is weird Elsa. The whole time I am reading your story, I kept thinking to myself about how badly I burned my hand a couple of years ago (tripped over cat and put hand out to stop myself from falling – straight onto red hot wood-fire stove top, and yeah, it stuck there a while too), but I thought, can’t have been as bad as Elsa’s, because weirdly, despite the concern of the doctor and them issuing me with a sick certificate and ordering me off work, I went home and by that night, I was hunky-dorey. My body heals quickly from burns. And I am only telling you this now because I have a stellium of Cap and Aqua in 11th house, so wonder if it is a Cappy thing???? We have miraculous powers of burn recovery????
    Great story – thank you.

  2. Obviously sometime in your sleep, the Body Snatchers tried to take you away…. and somehow their plans failed. So being old and wise they decided to leave and go somewhere else.

    Well, they didn’t completely fail…. on one of their ships lies a solvenier: an incompletely transformed subhost body with a severely burned hand. Their best minds remain to this day puzzled about what went wrong!!

    *crawls under a rock and throws out a strange plant that wasn’t here this morning* curses stephen king.

  3. Very cool! I like a good miracle story. How they happen – no idea. Do they happen – yep! Nice.

    And thanks for sharing the story! This was so fun! 🙂

  4. I have Jupiter on ascendant in aspect to Uranus which has dealt me some ridiculous luck.

    I also have Mars and Mercury (burned hand) in the lucky 9th house.

    I never thought about this until I wrote it about 10 years ago. Back then someone said they didn’t believe me so I called my ex-husband (the Scorpio) to get the docs name for verification (I’d actually forgotten it although I saw him until I left that town). He also got him for a doctor and kept him until he left the town some years later so he remembered the name. I googled him, right now as I posted this and he is still there, same town, same office and rated 5 stars of course. 🙂

    Anyway, the story went on of course and I did keep that doctor but I was deeply ashamed of what happened and was never comfortable with him after that. I was just embarrassed I did all that screaming and there was nothing wrong with my hand, see? I just never got over it is all I can say.

    I mean I guess it was gory, I never saw it except right after it happened.

    By the way, I did ask my ex what he thought about this, when I called him for the doc’s name and he thought it made a difference I did not look at it. He thinks because I didn’t’ see it, it did not register in my psyche. I personally have no idea.

    My current husband is deeply religious so thinks it is a miracle, I guess. He doesn’t say much about it other than there are miracles that happen but if one happens to you, you’re best off not to say anything because no one believes you – persecution.

    I don’t really care about that because I get persecuted by some regardless of what I do so I can’t see how it matters.

    I wrote this (and republished it) because I felt like it and that’s about it.

    I did tell my husband a couple days ago while working on it that I felt like a child. I feel very juvenile and child-like about this.

    He asked what I meant and I said it was like a toddler who walked off a roof, fell and then got up and toddled on not comprehending anything. I feel very stupid like that on one level and very unsure.

    I mean I am sure everything I wrote is exactly, precisely correct but what to make of it, I have no idea. I only know I could make you guys laugh if I kept writing about all these characters, including myself and I don’t know what to make of that either, really.

  5. Thanks !!!
    I was really worry
    Elsa’s power !!!
    El desierto es magico, magic desert.
    (I can’t wait, I went to watch a video to see your hand)
    Big hug 🙂

  6. oh weird…. i had a dream last night about how this story ended. and in my dream you went to the doctor and when he unwrapped your hand, it was completely healed. and he was so astonished he couldn’t speak. and you laughed and laughed and laughed.

    loved reading this. it’s an amazing story… very compelling. (the part where the nurse was scrubbing your hand made me cry.)

    i like the idea that your not seeing the wound meant it didn’t register in your psyche. and so it disappeared.

  7. “i like the idea that your not seeing the wound meant it didn’t register in your psyche. and so it disappeared.”

    That would be a Saturn Neptune thing, I think. Disappear reality, on the skin no less.

  8. Hahaha! And a few installments ago I was going to ask “How does your hand look now?” but for some reason thought I should wait 🙂 Amazing!!! And thanks for another great story.

  9. Interesting comments. I’ve been thinking about this over the last couple of days as well…and I just couldn’t believe that you have a scarred hand. It didn’t ‘feel’ like it was that way.

    Elsa, what you said about Mars and Mercury in the lucky 9th house, would you explain any further? I should have been dead at least once in my life, and with all the things that have happened, I can’t believe I’ve gotten off scott free. I do have Mercury in the 9th, but not Mars. Anyway, I’ve wondered for a while if there is anything showing in my chart that explains it.

    Very excellent story Elsa, thanks for sharing it.

  10. Fuckin’ cool ! I LOVE tales of spontaneous healing !!
    I agree with your ex. Elsa; in that not looking at your injury probably went a long way toward being able to heal so quickly and thoroughly — along with your Jupiter, of course ! I was just thrilled to find out that things had turned out so well for you ! Thanks for sharing it with us.

  11. *applauds, stomps feet, whistles as loudly as possible* (Screw decorum. 😛 )

    Whenever you’d reference your miracle healing, I would wonder about the circumstances. Now I’m free to wonder about other things. 😉

  12. I was there with you Elsa through the depths of the lows and then to the ( MAGIC!! ). You are indeed THE MAGIC FRITO GIRL !!! ..That was soooo damn goood !!! You made me feel a lovely sweet release of some kind …. when he revealed ur hand to be healed ,I was smiling and nodding my head like a loon lol thank you so very much for the gift ( among others ) you have of story telling .Hemingway esq magic frito girl that you are …Bev ( long time lurker shy poster and Elsa P admirer

  13. Ya! I love this story and how you tell it! Half of me is thrilled with the surprise magic healing ending, the other half is bummed, because the story is over and I want more…more…more!! From now on, I’m never looking at any future injuries!

  14. What a great story…can’t wait to tell my husband the end of it!! (He’s been following it too – I’ve been reading it to him)

    Magic Frito Girl – I LOVE IT!

  15. oaw!

    Incidentally I just watched a Q & A with Dr. Andrew where he speaks about such “magic” events. Grossly paraphrasing in a nutshell if the mind does not interfere the body, proper chemicals are released, the body spontaneously knows what to do. Mercury-Mars-Uranus-Neptune/

    Whatever the explanations are, I’m glad and amazed.

  16. I’m stunned …. but so very thrilled. Miracles happen to those who don’t succumb to others’ worry and fretting, but have the strength of mind to make their own reality?….or is it that they just don’t sucker into bad news? I may never watch the news again! Do you watch the news on TV and online, Elsa? One of my sisters doesn’t, and she is one of the happiest people I’ve ever met!

  17. i think that’s the beauty of neptune’s denial… it can dissolve things. especially in aspect to saturn, deconstruct reality.
    i have experienced miracles of my own. couldn’t explain them, myself, but the world i’ve seen is waaaay weirder than our philosophy (or science) can explain.

  18. Most everybody has responded with the same ideas I had when I got to the end….it made me think that your spirit must be a whimsical spirit where nothing awful sticks to you. I get images of the Fool from Tarot, purity of heart and I most definitely get the image of “The Little Match girl”….pure hearted. Great story, Elsa and I am so glad you told it!

  19. Wow! What a story. I had to wait until it was finished to read it all because I couldn’t stand the suspense. 🙂 I’ve wondered about this when you’ve mentioned your miraculous healing in the past. Truly amazing. I’m so glad that you were healed and didn’t have to endure anymore agony. This could have changed the course of your life.

  20. hmmm… maybe I’m going out on a limb here, but maybe it was… God? Nah can’t be. Everybody knows that planets have more healing power than Him.

  21. I just read this whole story and I just have one question. Why in the HELL did that nurse not give you painkillers before she dug a wirebrush into your third degree burn? What kind of nurse is that?

  22. From what I can recall (I was in PAIN) she said that they slow blood flow or something and they needed the hand to bleed. It might have had to do with the time elapsed, I really don’t know but we have a lot of nurses who read here and someone must.

  23. I’m just reading this now for the first time. Elsa, that’s an amazing story.

    I feel bad that YOU feel ashamed or silly about screaming. Your hand healed but you were deeply injured and it was freaking serious.

    I’m awed by the miracle healing. After reading comments there is something more here. It’s a lot to ponder. Thanks for writing it all down. Great writing, great story, weird but awesome. I’m so relieved your hand is fine. I was really worried for you throughout the story.

  24. Thank you, caribou. This story reflects my perception at the time. Many have been upset by this but fact is, this is what happened and how it was, right, wrong or indifferent.

  25. I was upset reading the part about the Nurse rubbing your hand so hard. Pain is the worst thing in my book.

    Why oh why couldn’t the doctor have given you the pain-killing injection first and THEN done the painful stuff?

    I burnt my palm by picking up a metal blender that had been left on the stove. It was pure agony and I kept thrusting it in a bucket of ice water. I was up all night. Each time the ice melted I made run for the kitchen to get more ice.

    By 5 a.m. I was running out of ice and panicked. I knew how long I would wait in an emergency room.

    My partner said he knew a trick he learned from a blacksmith: Put the hand under very HOT running water.

    I thought he was crazy. I didn’t want to do it. But finally there was no ice and the pain was searing. The kind of pain doesn’t let you think about anything else – So I did it.

    And just like that – like magic – the pain stopped. As if it had been switched off. I still don’t understand why this works but it does.

    I still had blisters on all five finger pads and on my palm but it healed just fine.

  26. debriding is removing dead tissue so it doesn’t rot and infect the living. it’s awful but necessary. though usually i think they can put you on some kinds of painkillers during it (but not others)

    the stuff they gave my husband didn’t work. but a lot of painkillers don’t work for him.

  27. What a great story Elsa! –along with everyone else I am very happy your hand is fine today! —

    My personal theory is that while we have free will it is guided and has broad limits; kind of like a superhighway with lots of lanes, off and on ramps and guard rails where you will hopefully bounce back in bounds if you start to veer off too far. To break out of the guard rails would (personal opinion) either send you back to “Go”, collect $200 (healing) and have some kind of reset, or you do not pass “Go” and die and have to start over from scratch. I think (there I go again lol) you got a reset instead of a restart.

    Perhaps you were meant to go on and be able to share your wonderful knowledge and guidance with so many of us here at elsaelsa. Just like in your story you may never know how many individual lives you have had a positive impact on through your writing here.

    Peace.

  28. I love when someone new finds this story, because it is absolutely my favorite Elsa story ever and I get to think about it/read it all over again. <3 So thanks, Fairythere, and welccome!

  29. Wow, I just finished reading this story Frito girl, I was weeping for your pain and then that healing! Wow, is all I can say. You are something else Elsa. I’ve got shivers.

  30. I’ve been reading this story (and some of the other ones) from your thread in the Lounge…I can’t believe it, but I can. I mean, if I heard it from someone else I may not believe it, but since it’s from you, as strange as it sounds, it makes sense.

    Also, you remind me of someone that I have never met but feel like I have, and even more so after reading some of your stories. Makes no sense…I wish I could explain.

  31. Wishing (and adding my prayers to those already praying) you great healing after your recent (November 2019) surgery, Elsa. <3

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