The Canadian Writers' Collective

Writing, and writerly tangents

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Objects: #6—Piles of Nail Clippings

by Andrew Tibbetts

I like to tear off the edges of my toenails. I pile them on the bedside table or the coffee table. (In the photo at left they are right on the headboard!) There should be about ten tiny white keratin sickles, but the truth is sometimes I go back for more on the odd toe. Until it hurts and there’s bloodshed. That’s what stops me.

People who I’ve lived with have had fits because every once in awhile they’d stumble across a little pile. Which, surprisingly, other people find gross. I have been yelled at many times.

And yet I cannot stop.

I think a little pile of toenail clippings is beautiful. I look at one and my toes tingle. Nails grow about 3 millimetres a month. It feels like such a long time. In the meantime you can adore last season’s harvest and get tingly in anticipation until your mother/roommate/intimate-partner comes along, flips out and dust-busts your trove. Then you must wait in the toenail barrens drinking milk, watching Fu Manchu movies and sighing.


Blogger Jacqueline said...

Your toenails are beautiful, Andrew!

Wed Nov 12, 10:32:00 am GMT-5  
Blogger Andrew Tibbetts said...

Thank you jacqueline! That's exactly how I feel. MWAH!

Wed Nov 12, 02:07:00 pm GMT-5  
Blogger Tricia Dower said...

Gross! It's back to Fu Manchu for you.

Wed Nov 12, 06:34:00 pm GMT-5  
Blogger Antonios Maltezos said...

I'm pretty compulsive about clipping my toenails before they get THAT long. Such a pointless, and yes... gross looking harvest. But you did manage to make something out of it. Very nice writing, Andrew. I read quickly so the picture could scroll up and out of view. Ha!

Wed Nov 12, 08:56:00 pm GMT-5  
Blogger t said...

Hah. Disgusting! Funny, though (but ick!)

Fri Nov 14, 03:16:00 am GMT-5  
Blogger Chumplet - Sandra Cormier said...

Clippings are okay but you shouldn't tear them off. You'll get wicked ingrown toenails and it's hard to reverse the damage!

My son had to have minor surgery because he was a 'ripper.'

Oh, and.... ew.

Sun Nov 16, 10:13:00 pm GMT-5  

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