On hurting your index finger

While doing a little work yesterday, I accidentally skinned the back of my index finger on my right hand. Now I have a scab there which has been unceremoniously ripped off about five times, and this is the skin on the knuckle, on the back of the finger. You never know how much you use that particular finger until you have to do dishes, floss, tie your shoes, or change your the tail pipe on your muffler. Even drinking coffee is strange now because that particular spot on the finger touches the hot cup, which I did not know until this morning. Some people call it the “pointer” finger, which sounds rude and probably is. Yet, even from medieval times the “indice” was known as that finger which everyone uses to give directions and focus the attention of different speech acts. And scratching (if you deny you scratch, you really need to have your head examined), who could get through a day without scratching? We won’t specify what, but scratching is important, especially if you have an itch. Even pictures of a hand pointing with its index finger extended have been important signs centuries. Today we might substitute an arrow or similar icon, but it’s just a variant of the pointing finger. Most people “mouse” with their index finger, and those who never learned to type properly use their index fingers to communicate with the world. And there are those less delicate people who think they are invisible at a stop light while they use their index finger to pick their noses. The light turns red, and the old index finger goes into action like an ancient coal miner who just found a new vein to mine. The finger that we wag at our opponents is also the finger with which we push buttons, which may be one and the same thing, depending how who you are trying to bother. For some, the index is also their trigger finger, which is interesting but not necessarily telling or indicative of anything. Until, however, you have an “owie” on it, you just never realize how important that little digit really is.