Another day, another limb

by Amandeep Jutla

They’d long since stopped surprising her. She recognized that this was understandable but kind of weird. Understandable because people can, and do, adapt to their circumstances, however strange they may be. Kind of weird because, well, these were actual limbs. It seemed wrong that waking up in the morning to find she’d grown an extra arm or leg had ever become normal. But it had.

An alarm woke her up at the same time every day. She’d yawn, climb out of bed, and walk to the adjacent bathroom. While brushing her teeth she’d return to the bedroom and look at herself in the tall mirror next to her dresser. Without surprise or interest she’d make a mental note of the size and location of the new appendage, and then she’d go take a shower.

She would be thorough and gentle with the new limb, making sure to rinse between its fingers, or toes, as the case sometimes was. She would try to avoid making it move – other, older limbs would pull its fingers apart, or pass the bar of soap along its length. Freshly-grown limbs tended to be weak things, shrunken and pallid. Typically it wasn’t until the end of the working day that they were healthy enough to function.

After she dressed she’d use a pair of scissors (which she kept on her bedside table) to give the new limb some space to breathe. After a quick bite she’d drive over to the office, where her coworkers usually made a point of noticing the newest addition to her family of appendages.

“Looking good, Jenn,” they’d say. “I like your style.”

She’d smile and nod and wave one of her many hands.

After work she’d hit the gym. She had so many limbs that she could lift weights and run on the treadmills (she typically would need at least two) at the same time. Then she’d go back home. Watch some television. Relax. Sure, the limb thing was a little weird, but life was good.