12.07.2004

The office.

Surreptitiously clipping my fingernails wasn't a phrase I'd ever use seriously, but there I was, trying to appear to type while trimming my fingernails with scissors.

It was an office faux pas, which was why I was hoping no one would notice. The people in the cubicle across from me--fellow reporter Rosemary and editor Tom-- faced away, but I faced into the corridor, and both were known to get up sporadically to get more tea.

Long nails disgust me, not on others so much, but on my own hands. Going to dislodge a bit of apple and tasting a bitter awful whatever you touched during the day is bad enough, but to feel a piece of that whatever take the place of the apple . . .

I was almost done, despite some close calls wherein I was furtively tapping on the keyboard with the back of my hand to make the tappy tappy noise. Then my pinky fingernail, left hand, flew into the numeric keyboard.

It was invisible, yes, but I would feel like some depraved fiend if I left it for some future employee, five years from now, to find. Carefully, wedging the scissors into the crevice between the 5 and 2 I pried upward slowly. 5 popped up easily and the nail slid under the2 with even greater ease. I looked around. Everyone was busy. I pried at the 2. Rosemary looked across and opened her mouth to say something. The 2 flew gracefully into my forehead and came to rest on the carpet five feet away as I belatedly went to protect my face from the errant key, nearly putting out my eyes with the scissors still in my hand.

Rosemary closed her mouth and went back to work. I retrieved the key and did the same.

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