May 10, 2005
Fear and loathing in Southern Illinois.
Here are my famously hairy feet that cause one of my office-mates to refer to me as Frodo at times -- the famously sandal-clad or bare feet by which I am known sometimes by people who can't tell this guy from the other boring white dudes with glasses. So there I am today, going to the university to hand in my last paper and to get a signature from my advisor for my summer research project (on Thoreau, his Pragmatism, and Schelerian sacrifice). I take the stairs, as usual (I'm scared of elevators -- long story or stories, as it were). I catch my flip-flopped foot on the stairs and drop without grace, scaring the bejesus out of an undergrad getting off the stairs on the second floor. She asks if I am Okay, and I apologize for scaring her. I get into my office, put my gear down and feel something wet on my aching foot. I look down to discover that said wetness is warm and viscous because it is blood. My blood. It's all over my foot and shoe. And one of my toenails is blackish. I touch the offending toenail. It reveals itself to no longer be attached to my toe at all, though the unseen roots under my knuckle seem to be keeping it in place. Mfingddmnt it hurts. SoI do the manly thing. I get some paper towels from the nearest (stinky) men's room and clean up the blood. I wrap one around my bleeding toe and hobble down to my professor's office, hoping he won't notice my limping, cringing or bleeding. I hobble back to my office, put my leg up and decide I need to go home. I do. I clean up my foot. Then we go to the Bookworm and to Panera Bread for lunch. Both are stupid moves. The offending toe throbs, getting alarmingly swollen, and I'm gripping the steering wheel as if I want it to die by my hands as we speed home. Four Advils and putting up the poopy leg combine to help immensely. We wash the car twice and put the bra on, since we're leaving for Baltimore Friday morning. Have dinner and start a new book. Salvage the stange day. This is funny because my not wearing shoes always seems to render me exceptionally susceptible to foot injuries. The bone in my little toe is still in two pieces. I walked into a wall in Massachusetts, and I don't want to talk about it now, thanks. At any rate, I'm always stubbing or cutting or impaling some part of my feet/toes on something. It's not some principle that I'm usually not in proper shoes. My feet just get hot and like the air. Anyway, I also had my big toenails cut out when I was in high school. The doctor stuck me literally about a dozen times in each toe to numb them, though I seriously question whether that might not have hurt more than what he did after that. He used some wire-cutter-looking dealies (thanks, Homer) to cut the two nails in half. Then he pulled them out with pliers. To remove the roots, he used acid and hook-ish scraping thingies. It was less than fun. But it was extemely funny, to explain why my feet were wrapped in gauze: "Dude, I got my toenails cut out today." "No way." "Hell yes, wanna see?" "Hell no. Sick." With that in mind, you get to see the bandage, not the toe of today's mishap. For now. You're better off that way. And I don't really like to look at it. I know, I'm a baby. Sue me. Come to think of it, I had those babies removed on Friday May 13th. Eery, huh?