Saturday, August 8th, 2015


Mom & I were sitting on the floor of her study. She was doing something important— some writing of some sort. Waiting for her to finish, I watched her hands.


She had shiny pink, neatly curved nails on deep nail beds. It must have been winter or early spring— certainly not summer— as none of the nails were broken off from gardening. As she thought, she picked the skin of her thumbnail bed with her forefinger. Now and again she bit off a small piece of skin with her teeth. It looked much more painful than biting the nails themselves. Biting nails did not hurt. I knew this. My nails were well-bitten. I bit them down to the quick and deeper, and the quick of my nails receded every year. Biting the nail too deep hurt, but biting the nail itself did not hurt.


The skin on her hands was not smooth, pink, unwrinkled skin like mine. Her skin was covered in diamonds. I wondered how they got there— those tiny, evenly spaced lines. I thought the lines were elegant, like her fingernails. I wondered if her skin was always like that. I wanted my skin to have diamonds, too.


It does now. Diamond lines and veins.



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