“I Hate Fingernails” by Anne Highley-Smith

I hate fingernails.  I hate the feeling of them on my skin.  I hate the sound they make against those twenty times recycled coffee cups.    Every time a fingernail brushed against me on the train, on the bus, in the mall, at home even, I would take that nail – that so disturbed my peace – and snap it backwards, ripping it out of it’s root roughly seven inches away.

For some reason, some large unseen force decided to fuck with me and put me on a world in which fingernails, those nasty, germ habitats, were seven inches long.  Of course, I react the way any normal person would in this situation; I make it disappear.  Basically, I gnaw the shit out of my nails.

Possibly disgusting, definitely unsanitary and looked down upon, but if I had to go through my day with nails that are as long as some cellular phones, I’d end up slitting someone’s pretty little throat with their own god damn fingernail.

So why am I here?  Isn’t it obvious?  There was some dick looking to make a scene to prove a point.  Fuck that.  Nobody touches me and gets away with it.  Anyway, I was walking down the street by the nail salon – typically, I make a point of walking on the other side of the street, but I was in a particular rush on this day – and some guy, some husky, hairy monstrosity walked out and straight into me.  I could feel his freshly polished nail slice straight into my skin, leaving a blood red line about three inches across my forearm.  I didn’t really think about it, and I did what I normally did and took his hand and snapped off the offending nail.  He was left there; screaming, howling in pain, blood seeping from his broken nail.  He cried like a bitch, by the way.  I stuffed the nail in my pocket and continued on my way.

Unfortunately, I saw him later that evening, at my doorstep, this time in uniform.  Him and his nail bearing buddies, took all the broken off fingernails I had accumulated over the years.  They told me that I was going to be held accountable for my atrocities.  I spit at them.  One raked a sharpened nail across my face, and it took four of them to hold me back, so I didn’t snap all his fingers – nail, bone and all – off.  As they held me, I could feel their nails against my skin and I grew crazed, and began breathing heavily until I could no longer see, no longer feel.

So, I woke up here, behind bars, my hands tied to me, and I can feel the stubs of my fingernails against the soft skin of my ribs.  I fucking hate fingernails.

Profile: Anne Highley-Smith

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