Gabriel’s Hounds 1: The soft-looking grey glove-skin of the hands

wednesbury sunset


Her hands on the bedsheet. The bedsheet folded down over the quilt and the hands resting neatly on the sheet, as if they had been folded down as well. More like a pair of gloves than hands, expensive, soft-leather gloves, probably kid, well-worn and creased but still neat. I wanted to touch them. The nails were clipped. I wondered when did they do that, clip the nails? I wanted to touch them, the soft-looking grey glove-skin of the hands, but I didn’t because it wouldn’t have seemed right, would have seemed somehow, what’s the word? Improper? Indecorous? Inappropriate. It would have seemed inappropriate. The nurses must have folded down the sheet and laid her hands over it like that. Smoothed them down over the smoothed down sheet. Did they clip the nails as well? After she died and we went out and two nurses went in. We stayed outside for about ten minutes and then the nurses came out and we went in again. That would have been plenty of time for them to smooth the sheets and lift her head and plump up the pillow, then lay her head back down on the pillow and lay her hands over the folded over sheets. And clip the nails. I wondered was that part of the usual procedure, clipping the nails. Or did one of the nurses notice that her nails needed clipping, think that they looked a little too raggedy and decide to clip them? Whatever the reason I was glad her nails had been clipped. They looked neat, like her hands. And one of them had combed her hair, I noticed that too.