I cut my toe nails. I did this because you touched my foot and I was suddenly embarrassed about my personal hygiene.
Her feet are perfect. Her nails are pared back and coloured like jewels. Her skin is the softest thing I have touched, like butter or silk. Her hair is immaculate. Her dress is so careful and elegant. I do not dislike her for this but I see the ragged edges of myself and I think that maybe I should start using moisturiser. I imagine that I smell bad. Strong. Musky like a possum or a bat, something that feeds at night and leaps out to scare you when you wander past unsuspecting. I am a tatter. I am a hurried afterthought. I am all spilled out and picked up at a run. I am a clumsy scattering of disperate things. Bag lady chique.
So even though my toenail is the tallon of said possum or bat, the caress of your fingers reminds me of the times that I have disregarded this. The hard dead skin edges, the calloused, result of neglect, neglected again as I wet my toe in the juice of her and slip it inside. I am reminded of the warm wetness and the almost climax that can be achieved when my leg is extended and my toe is buried. The idea of my whole foot disappearing into her, but for now, just this toe this one toe that you are holding so casually and without any subtext. People always rest their feet in your lap. Here is my toe and you touch it and it is a simple pure note of your affection for me.
You are not to know that it is that toe, that same toe and that the warmth of your hand places me right back there with her body. And the fact that I ignore the gesture reminds me of her casual acceptance of my toe in her vagina. No signal that she was aware of my presence, just a cat-like settling down into the pillows of the couch. Her eyes heavy, on the brink of sleep. I do not want you to let go of my toe but this has to end. Does this have to end? A throw away line that has its barb in me. You look up at the sky which holds more interest than my ragged toe nail and rough skin.
I cut my toenails and I think about her careful pedicure and all the womanly things about her that are so different to me and the melancholy I feel does not make me jealous in that way that I have which leads to dislike.
I wonder if I will rouse myself to make more of an effort with my skin, my hair, my toes. I wish the strong wild smell would disappear and leave me with the scent of flowers and that delicate cinnamon that I have tasted in the juices of several women I have known. Can I change? Even at this late stage can I become her? or am I destined to be me. Forever. Always, the slight disappointment of my vague and half-hearted attempt at cutting my toenails and remembering to wear perfume.