So this past Saturday Mary, the woman I usually work with, was off visiting her mother in Spokane. Another Mary, Mary Lou, filled in for her. Lou, as she told us to call her, has been a professional bartender on and off for twenty years. She moved to Los Angeles about five years ago to be an actor. Ugh. A long road to haul for someone who seemed deep into her forties and not exactly a looker. But that is all beside the point because Lou was an amazing bartender. She can hear 17 drink orders at once, remember them all, and then mix 'em up two at a time. Her hands never stopped moving. Except for when she was washing dishes. I noticed that she would only do that with one hand. I asked her why and she showed me: on her left hand she had what is know as bar rot -- a skin infection bartenders get from always having wet hands and always touching citrus.
I thought I was suffering from bar rot as well but after doing some research tonight, I'm not so sure. I think having my hands in water that is filled with sanitizer for 6 hours every Saturday has set off a nasty case of eczema. I tried to take a picture of my ring and pinky finger on my right hand so you could see what I'm talking about but it didn't come out so well.You can kind of see the skin split on the top knuckle of my pinky. This eczema is so itchy, it wakes me up out of a dead sleep on Sunday morning after my shift. If I constantly put Aquaphor on it all week, and sleep with gloves on (thank you for the suggestion, Julia), it sort of heals by Saturday. But Aquaphor is greasy so I can't touch anything after I put it on. Which means I've been sitting in the writers room everyday with my hands sort floating in the air as I try not to touch anything -- not an easy task when you need to write something down. Unfortunately all this hard work is for not because after a few minutes of washing glasses at the bar all my moisturizing goes to shit and the cycle starts all over again. Outside of quitting and wearing gloves, I have no idea how to get rid of this affliction.
The only thing I really learned from all this is that my middle finger is REALLY crooked. What happened there?