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.