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the beautiful destruction

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

What A Bloody Mess

Nerves. Sometimes they can get the best of you. Myself? Well, I've got a remedy, an elixir of sorts. I just chew on my fingernails until the skin beneath is ragged and bloody, then get back to it—whatever it may be. If that's not enough, then I start tearing at the skin around my fingernails—a choice that normally ends with a collection of hangnails and sore cuticles. Sure, it's an unhealthy habit, and who knows where my fingers have been, but that's my problem, I suppose, not yours.

A bad habit can bubble up quickly, or fester for years, hidden away, tucked in the back of your noggin, waiting for the proper time to introduce itself.

"Mr. Newton?"

"Why, yes."

"I'm an Odd & Nervous Squinting Condition. Pleased to meet you."

"Oh, yes, we met a couple years back, during high school. I hadn't planned on seeing you again."

"Well, I'm back, and it appears I'll be sticking around for quite some time."

"Wonderful."

Unfortunately, the Odd & Nervous Squinting Condition is quite real and rather perplexing. For example: I'm in the shower, shampooing my hair, and all of a sudden I find my face scrunched into some odd and painful squinting ritual
—one eye open, the other buried somewhere deep in my skull, perilously rolling around in the goopy mess of my eye socket. It began in high school, disappeared for a bit, and now its back. Wonderful.

And while gnawing on my fingernails and fingertips may temporarily relieve my anxiety, this squinting thing does nothing but hurt my face. If it serves some purpose, I am yet to find out. But I imagine it's just some extra baggage I've picked up, a personal "enhancement" that I'm certain will attract legions of friends.

"What did you do on Friday?"

"I hung out with friends at Matt's house."

"Matt who?"

"You know, the dude with the squinting thing, kinda looks like someone's occasionally sticking him with a cattle prod."

"Oh, okay. I know who you're talking about. He's the guy with the weird-shaped fingers that are always kinda bloody?"

"Yep, that's him. Nice guy."


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