I was sitting looking at my hands a few days ago.

I used to have beautiful hands - soft, long-fingered, perfectly manicured nails, though they occasionally got dirty in gardening and engines.

Now my hands are well-used. Processing e-waste isn't a clean job. You end up filthy, blackened by soot and grime and dust. Sharp metal, plastic, glass can cut into skin. Tools slip - and leave their mark. Nails break. Your fingerprints end up permanently defined in black and grey on your fingertips - no matter how much you scrub. You're likly to have an assortment of plasters at various angles over hands and wrists. You have callouses and blisters and pinched bits - the skin may be dried out and rough, not as sensitive as it used to be.

But these hands are hard-working hands. They've done a lot. They know how to work carefully and delicately, or take a bit of force to something that needs it. They're not simply attachments to the end of my arms. They're useful parts of me. They fit into the cycle of electronic life and death I assist in - they resurrect or forever destroy.

Yup, may not be able to show them off nor want to attract attention to them with snazzy nailpolish (which will simply be eaten off at the next session). But I'm kinda pround of what they've done, what they're doing - what they still will do.

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