They were holding hands after the sex. The sex had been fine. She had wanted tender, quiet moments, and he had wanted noise, and so she had waited through the noise to get to the point where they would be holding hands.
His hands were gigantic, with fingers like sausages choked with spices, like the ones that hung in the windows of the Polish butchers in his neighborhood. The base of his hand was like a thick-cut steak, the kind that really needs a good carving to get it anywhere near ready to eat. They were so big they were almost useless. Like: he couldn't do anything that needed a delicate touch, and sometimes he squeezed things too tightly. Also, he had trouble tying his shoes, for real, so he wore big slip-on boots instead. But he was good at lifting huge trays of food easily on his flat palms, so they liked him at the restaurant where he worked. Also he could take out all of the garbage to the alley at the end of his shift in just one trip. So he was always taking out the garbage.
Her hands were like little fluttery pieces of paper that you could fold into the shape of swans. But her nails were long, and she could scratch hard with them. He had asked her to scratch him during the sex, and she had. She didn't like to scratch, but it was something so small to make him happy, and so she had done it.
They worked across the street from each other. He worked at the restaurant that served fancy Japanese food but then also tacos filled with fish, a different fish for every day of the week. It was very popular with young eager people who lived in the city and worked in advertising, and on the weekends they would pile on the train to Brooklyn and walk the six blocks to the restaurant and pretend like they lived in the neighborhood for a night.
Two of his co-workers had Mohawks. Everyone was gay that worked there. He was the only one who wasn't gay. His coworkers called him "breeder" sometimes, and he thought it was stupid but he knew he wasn't allowed to say anything about it.
But the money was okay and he liked the music they played there a lot. Everyone was always fighting over who got to plug their iPod into the stereo except for him. He and his hands weren't going anywhere near an iPod.
He had spent his entire life noticing that his hands were bigger than everyone else's.
She worked at the gallery that was really mostly a comic book store, although they were very fancy comic books printed on high-quality paper. She sat at the counter and wrote in tiny handwriting in her notebook all day about people who came into the store. Sometimes she would draw them, but she didn't think she was any good at it. Only very rarely would she talk to anyone.
She dressed in dark cool colors so that she would match the concrete walls of the gallery and her bangs were long and hung over her eyes and she often imagined that if she stood up against the wall no one would even know she was there at all.
She was sort of in school. She had a few credits to go. Go where exactly, she never knew, so she was in no hurry to get there.
They were wrapped around each other, her tiny limbs across his giant thigh, her petite hand cupped in his massive one, fingers intertwined. He noted the difference in size. He was always noticing it. He had spent his entire life noticing that his hands were bigger than everyone else's.
"My hand could totally kick your hand's ass," he said. "You will be crushed." He made a noise that sounded like, "Rowr." He opened his hand wide and then moved it in toward hers. "Here comes the giant hand." He surrounded her hand with his.
She liked to eat the fish tacos they served in his restaurant. She never got sick of them because every day there was a different fish. She had tried to eat other things in the neighborhood, but nothing ever pleased her as much as the fish tacos. The chef at the restaurant had spent summers as a child with his grandmother on an island in the South Pacific and he had a recurring dream about swimming in a school of fish, their tender bodies rubbing up against his, and he often woke with an erection. There was a respect for the fish that she could taste in the tacos.