Gente que Cuenta

by Leonor Henríquez

Juan Pantoja de la Cruz Atril press
Juan Pantoja de la Cruz,
Detalle del retratro de Isabel de Valois, c. 1605

read it in spanish

      This is not a list of contents.

I woke up with my right index finger swollen.

How odd! I told myself.

I didn’t feel pain, but I still went to consult my family doctor, Dr. Darwin.

I explained my problem to him, and then I noticed that he also had a hypertrophied finger. Also the nurse, the receptionist and the patients waiting in the waiting room.

Could it be a virus that attacks the finger? I asked myself.

Dr. Darwin found nothing abnormal, he prescribed me a hand cream, and sent me away almost impatiently.

When I looked at the prescription, I noticed the date, May 15, 4024.

What, how, 4024?

I woke up fast. Yes sorry, it was a nightmare.

I looked at my right index finger and it was normal, just with the small cut I had gotten the day before with a sharp knife.

It’s not that I’m complaining about something so insignificant, but physical integrity is always underestimated.

My injury made me aware of how busy this tentacle of our humanity is: cell phone, computer, pressing any button, pointing.

As you can see, this trivial injury made me reflect and even dream about Charles Darwin and the topic of the evolution of species.

Just as thumb opposition was a notable evolutionary advantage of us humans, in my nightmare, after a few thousand years of “digital” (finger-related) hyperactivity, the distant relative of “homo sapiens” developed a giant index finger.

I would just like to give some credit to my middle finger, which was very useful to me while its neighbor was disabled, and thinking about it, although it is rarely used, its eloquence cannot be underestimated at times when words are unnecessary.

Not for nothing do they also nickname him “the mute.”

Let us hope that primatologists also grant its evolutionary importance.

www.atril .press Leonor Henríquez e1670869356570

Leonor Henríquez (Caracas, Venezuela) Civil Engineer by training (UCAB 1985), writer and apprentice poet by vocation. From her time in engineering emerged her Office Stories (1997), another way of seeing the corporate world. Her latest publications include reflections on grief, Hopecrumbs (2020) ( and “The Adventures of Chispita” (2021) ( an allegory of life inside Mom’s belly.
Today she shares her “impulsive meditations” from Calgary, Canada, where she lives.

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