I was playing basketball on Riverside with Matt and Rich, and maybe my brother. We were terrible, and had beer in our stomachs and brains. It was really hot and I imagine I was sweating. The sport court seemed to make the heat less bearable.
I jumped to rebound the ball. My right hand, my dominant hand, made contact with the ball first. There was a pop. I looked at my finger. My middle finger. My 'fuck you' finger. The longest one. The segment from the tip of the finger to the first knuckle, approximately 2 centimeters was bent forward. The crease between the inside of this finger segment and the continuation of my middle, 'fuck off' finger, formed an obtuse angle. I'd estimate 132 degrees if I were to estimate.
The finger didn't want to return to factory quality. It wanted to stay doing just what it was doing. I, also, wanted to continue just what I was doing. I was, you remember, playing basketball. I continued playing after a fit of tugging, squeezing, twisting, shaking, bopping it, etc...
Later that afternoon, when the game ended (very likely a zero-zero tie, considering our propensity to miss our target), I went up to UT to see a nurse. You see, at this point, I was enrolled in, and getting ready to return to, the University of Texas at Austin, where I would be making a lifetime of memories and forging lifelong relationships, both with people and abstractions.
Upon arrival, the nurse asked how long the issue had been in existence. She was understandably baffled when I answered honestly that it had been a number of hours. She built for me a padded splint, but made no promises. Good on her, cause the splint did nothing. Here I sit, years later, with a permanent 132 degree angle measurement tool. Naturally, I could also use the thing to measure its supplement, a 48 degree angle, as well.