Hammer toe

You can think, say, do what you like. I’m not going anywhere. I’m in for the long haul. And no amount of rubbing your toes together and against me is going to change that.

Skin? Bone? That won’t do a thing. You can pick at me with your nails – go ahead. Scrub me violently in the shower – I love it. The water washing over me, the rub of the towel over my bumps and crevices – divine. Like a body scrub. Sock on – cozy. Sock off – cool and refreshing.

But you hate me, don’t you? I itch. I annoy. I saw the look on your girlfriend’s face when you got ready for bed the other day. I’m unclean, a virus. One touch and I could spread anywhere.

Well, guess what? I don’t care.

Please, go ahead. Pick me. It makes no difference. Sure, take the layer of skin off on top, but pick any more and – yes, look, I bleed. Doesn’t hurt me at all, but you. That kills. I can tell it does. I know a wince when I see one.

That’s right. Get the cream out. Savlon. And the plaster. Cover me up. As if that’s going to make a difference. Or make me disappear. I love a good moisturiser. It’s like a permanent shower. That plaster? Cozy. And it’ll only make you more aware of me when I’m sitting in your shoe, in your sock and you’re at work. Rub that big toe over me.

No. I’m not going anywhere no matter what you do. That pumice stone will do nothing. It tickles. It smarts a little. But it’s more like a massage than anything.

Do it. Scrape off the dead skin. I like it. It’s revitalising. Like a rough towel. Well done. Keep it up.

Yes. Get angry. Go at me hard. That’s right. I saw them the other day when you put the plaster round me. Hack at me. Stab me. Cut me. You may even gouge a few bits of me out.

Nail clippers. Great. But I’ll still be here when you wake up, sitting between your toes. Even without that chunk you took off, I’ll be all comfy and warm beneath the duvet waiting for your next assault.

What’s that? God, you’re kidding, right? Well, if you insist, but it feels just like Savlon really. Removal gel – what’s it removing?

You’ve got to laugh, you hate me so much. You loathe me. You see me as the cause of all your stress. A physical manifestation of your horrible life. The reason why you don’t have a girlfriend anymore. And yet you do everything to make me happy, thinking you’re killing me, wearing me down, when you’re not. Not at all.

What’s next? A kiss? A knife? Scissors? Do what you like. Oh, I see. Liquid nitrogen spray. Be my guest. Spray it to your heart’s content, but you’re more likely to hurt your toe than anything else, especially when you apply it like that.

Look what you’ve done now. You’ve killed your skin. Look how white it is around me. How dead. Your toe’s not going to be happy about that and neither are you. How will you get a new girl with a toe like that?

Don’t you ever learn? Put it away. How’s that going to help? You might as well get the scissors out while you’re at it. Chop you’re toe off for all the good it will do.

Give up. Really. Give up. I’ll go when I want to go. Not when you or the pumice stone or the the removal gel or the nail clippers or the nitrogen spray say so. And it won’t even hurt when I do. Won’t hurt me. Won’t hurt you. Give in. Get used to me. Love me.

No, don’t. That’s not going to help matters at all. I was only joking about the scissors.

Stop. You’ll scream. It’ll kill you. Not me. It won’t hurt me at all. Look, I can’t feel a thing. Why are you doing this? Can’t you hear the crunch? Can’t you see the blood?

Look, your flatmates are coming in. We’ll have to go to hospital now where they’ll sew me back on.

See. They’re wrapping me in some kitchen towel, putting me in some Tupperware. Loving your toe and me. Caring for us. They won’t let you throw me away even if you don’t want me back there in your sock.

I’m part of you. Just like your toe. Give up, you idiot. Love me. I’m not going anywhere.


One thought on “An Immovable Object

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