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Wednesday, July 31, 2013

My Toenails

Many years ago, I had cute toenails.  I am not bragging, merely stating an objective fact.  My toenails were definitely cute. Some would have even called them adorable.  Starting at about age 30, however, my toenails began to transform, gradually turning into the things of horror they are today.

Nancy will demur; my toenails were never all that cute, she will say.  Many is the night I would cuddle up beside her in bed, and she would say, "For God's sake, when are you going to trim those things?"  But even she will admit compared to the way they are now, my former toenails were cuteness itself.

I do not know what has caused my toenails to age exponentially faster than the rest of my body.  My fingernails, for example, seem as spry and vigorous as ever.  Medically speaking, I have the fingernails of a seventeen-year old, but owing to some freakish Dorian-Grey-type phenomenon, my toenails are transmogrifying at a fantastic rate, as if they had to bear the physical evidence of all the sins and misdeeds of my life, along with all Nancy's sins and misdeeds, plus the dog's and the chicken's, and possibly at least one of the neighbor's.

Indeed, my toenails no longer seem like human toenails at all.  They look as if they'd been transplanted from some wild and savage beast.  A beast with remarkably ugly toenails.

Ironically, even as my toenails become ever more deformed and discolored, they are becoming stronger.  There is something Frankensteinish in this.  Nothing so repulsive should be so durable.  They no longer seem to be made of ordinary toenail material at all, but some unnaturally tough animal hoof.  I have seen the bent and twisted metal my toenails have made of ordinary nail clippers.  I have considered resorting to hedge trimmers, were they not so unwieldy to handle I might lose an entire toe.

Briefly I contemplated visiting a pedicurist, but I was only fooling myself.  Nothing could fortify me against the shame of revealing these horrid tootsies to a stranger.  The face of some nice Korean lady would blanch and her jaw would drop in mute alarm.  Other customers would flee.  I would be sent from the shop at once, but nothing would prevent the recurrent nightmares that would haunt the witnesses for years to come.  Besides, nothing in her arsenals of clippers or emery boards would avail against these claws.  You might as well try to moisturize a rhinoceros hide.

So nothing remains to do with my toenails but hide them from the world.  Cover them in thick socks and then put them in shoes where no one will have to behold them.  When the socks, and even the shoes, become shredded at the toes as if the nails were some rabid rat feverishly chewing its way through burlap, I will just have to replace them.  I only hope the day never comes shoes and socks no longer conceal my toenails because they have become too disproportionate and misshapen.  But my mortician!  My poor mortician!  He - or she, God forgive me if it's a she - will have to behold my gruesome toenails unadorned.  What monstrosities will they be by that time?

But it can't be helped.  I will leave instructions that my body be handled by a blind mortician if at all feasible.  If not, I will recommend tying a kerchief over the eyes or averting the gaze from my feet at the very least.  As for the toenails, I recommend they be buried in a separate casket.  A stake through their heart.

1 comment:

  1. Once again, Man, you have written so that we "know we are not alone."

    Such toenails brought on the advent of KEEN, toe capped sandals, so that our dogs might breathe, while we modestly conceal our toenails.