The toenail has got to go, I'm afraid. I dropped a full bucket of water on it in the summer, on the way to water some plants and while it hurt like the devil, I couldn't foresee that it would turn so black that I had to put several layers of nail polish over it or that, finally, it would start to die and come off from the left edge.
This is, of course, disgusting. What could be a worse topic on conversation than the moribund nail of one's foot? And yet.
I'm fascinated by this process, inspecting my toe nightly, thinking of it flapping slightly when I swim, choosing my footwear judiciously. I'm like my own science project. I haven't had a piece of me defect of its own will since I lost my twelve-year-old molars. And what's more, not only is the dead drying out and yellowing and flaking (in that last description, I'm certain I lost any readers I might have had, so can comfortably write for myself), but my old nail is also being pushed up by the regenerative forces of my own body. I am losing by my unconscious body's volition, and am being replenished by the same natural force. Somewhere beyond my scope of discovery, there is a nascent nail coming up from the nail bed, scaling and forming. Within the duly prescribed time (sadly, it will probably be 18 months, if WebMD can be trusted), a new nail will sit on my right toe, just as bright and lacquered and cheerful as any other piggy in the row. And who will know that I had another, perfidious, perhaps, toenail that has gone the way of the earth and nail clippings?
Restorative powers of my own body, I salute you!