by Joe Bunting
What happens when the part of your body that is your connection to the world starts to fail? That’s what happens to Jim, a jazz musician who realizes that his hands have abandoned him. Joe Bunting has written a very moving, poignant short story about a man who seriously thinks about killing himself because he can’t play the music he once did. He reflects on his life through music. Jim remembers going to a club to listen to his idol Clifford Brown perform. Then there was the time he taught his nephew how to play piano by telling him to “let your hands tell you what to play.” Jim explains he is going to vote for Obama by describing the way jazz is his connection to his soul and to black people.
Joe Bunting does a beautiful job getting the reader to experience Jim’s love for jazz. As he says in Hands, “The notes are enough.”