When I first felt Hatter's hand take mine, and practically drag me across the tea tables, I was rather taken aback. I could feel cuts, scars, and bandages, the result of a true hatter. They felt strange to me, yet somehow familiar. They felt rough and unpleasant, yet somehow protective and friendly.
They were ugly, yet… beautiful.
As I look back on my adventure in Wonderland, and how Hatter conducted himself, I have a very different view of them than when I was experiencing them firsthand.
There are many things that I could point out about the Hatter, but for now, I just want to focus on one aspect: his hands. They in themselves tell Hatter's personality.
When I felt them at the beginning, it was done in a hasty sort of way, but I never forgot the feel of those hands. They were wounded, scarred, and discolored as a result of hard work. I realize that he is a hard worker, diligent in doing his own trade, as I also saw him for just a moment at Salazen Grum.
I saw his hands for the first time when he placed one near me as he asked that silly riddle of his. They looked just like I expected; gloved and white, with a little bit of pink and red, some cuts and scars here and there, a bandage or two, and a thimble. They looked colorful. They express a little bit of his madness and his colorful personality.
I felt them again as he took my shrunken body and put me in a teapot as carefully as possible, but with haste. I felt the teapot moving, and knew that he must be hiding it somewhere, holding it protectively. I heard voices outside, then soon a few voices breaking out into song. It stopped, then I heard some more voices and laughter, then a continuation of the song. Dear Hatter, he was putting up a distraction! And then the song stopped again, and I heard a dog sniffing, then a low growl. The light I had left went out, for one of Hatter's fingers was blocking the spout. He said something in a deep voice, which apparently made the dog recede, and proceeded to bark away from the tea tables. When all was clear, I felt the teapot being set on something solid. Hatter pulled out a piece of fabric from my undergarments, and skillfully made a little blue dress. I look back on that moment, and notice how he was using his quick-thinking skills and his cleverness.
When we were being pursued by the Red Knights, Hatter fled with all his might, keeping me safe in his pocket. When he came to a clearing and found that we were surrounded, he took off his top hat and placed me gently on the rim. He told me where to go, warned me to hold on tightly, and with a strong flick of his wrist, he sent me and the hat flying over the lake (or was it a river?). I realized it then, but even more so now, that he is fiercely protective and loyal to the point of sacrificing himself. At that point, I started to really grow an attraction towards him.
Finally, when I saw him putting his hat aside and begin to fight the Knave, I notice his flexibility. The hands of a milliner can also be the hands of a warrior if need be. They can be hands of gentleness, but also hands of bravery. Ugly hands, yet beautiful hands.
I recall our last moments together when I held the Jabberwocky blood vial in my hand. He stood there with sad, pleading eyes, begging me not to go. How I wish he would have just embraced me instead! It would have been harder to go, but I would have felt better in coming back if only he enclosed my body with his arms and caressed me with his own hands.
I knew from his actions that he must also hold some attraction for me. Whether it was a friendship-type attraction, or something more, I wouldn't know. I do know that we have a bond with each other, and I would not like that to be so easily broken.
When I go back to Wonderland, and to the Hatter, I pray that I'll be able to hold those beautiful, mad, loyal, brave, gentle hands of his and kiss them all over, resolving to never leave his side again.