Mort Sahl was sitting in Starbucks
I held out my hand and he shook mine,
The handshake that men of a certain age do,
The hand you want to hold on to for ever,
The hand that you think, if you did, would lead you places, teach you things,
Hold- on-to-those-hands-for-the-rest-of-your-life kinds of hands,
Soft, firm.

Hands-that-have-done-things-hands and know how to shake another man’s hands without making him seem unimportant,
too important,
trying to get over on you,
insult you,
intimidate you,
overpower you.
Not too firm,
Not too limp,
Trustworthy hands,
Believable hands,
Good hands. Mort Sahl’s hands.

Men of a certain age,
Men who look like twenty-five year olds in older men’s skin,
Like they could zip down and step out and go one-on-one,
Firm, still in shape,
Bodies of men who take care of themselves,
Make them last and
Make them count because it’s the only one we get and they want to go the distance.
Firm hands and steady eyes that light up with twinkle and energy,
Eyes that know things, could tell you things, could lead you to secrets and wisdom.
Eyes that see.
Hands that know,
Hands that read you,
Hands that aren’t afraid to hold another man’s hand, feel him, touch him, let-him-know-he-understands kinds of hands.
My hands were shaking, and then I was shaking hands.
The way I want to shake another man’s hands.
If I know anything.

1 comment:

mendoman said...

Hands that don't shake are dead hands. Mort Sahl once said: "If you can't join them, beat them!" To which, I can only add...and beat them with compassion and, always, with humor. Well done, Kurt.