Saturday, November 04, 2006
New Beginning 155
When I was four years old, I fell in love with Dana Meyer's fingernails.
I can still picture them today: delicate half-moons peeking coyly over the smooth horizon of his cuticles, directing the eye up toward serene white ridges that capped his fingertips like far-off mountain peaks.
In all the nursery school, there was not one hand that could compare to Dana's fastidious manicure; even the teacher's nails were thick with grit by the end of a day spent clawing through the sandbox for lost toys. As for the rest of us, we were what you would expect from a normal class of pre-schoolers: snotty and scabby and tousled and frayed, dressed as haphazardly as our parents would allow, gloriously unselfconscious in our filth. But Dana was always perfectly, meticulously put together; an oasis of clean and calm amid the messiness of common toddlerhood. Over the course of that year, I cultivated a growing obsession with Dana Meyer's compulsive sense of hygiene.
Before lunch, I would follow Dana into the bathroom and be sure to take the sink next to his and watch him lather, scrub and rinse his hands, using one nail to force the soapy water beneath another.
In art class, while the other kids were finger-painting big, yellow suns and happy, smiling families, my crayon would be tracing the delicate arc of Dana’s lunula. We became best friends; we had a special bond, as strong as the hyponychium. And when I was invited to his house, I would secretly search in his trash or under his bed for clippings to add to my collection.
Yes, even then, at that tender age, I knew some day those perfect fingernails would be mine.
Sit still, Dana Meyer, and don’t say a word. I promise you this will be quick. After the first one or two, you won’t feel a thing.
Opening: AIR.....Continuation: ril