Wednesday, March 15, 2006

The Tale of the Glass Splinter



I have a new friend. In fact, we've been spending our days and nights together. Trivial and mildly funny, as far as problems go, my new friend is a problem indeed. A real pain in the toe.

What it comes down to is I have had a glass splinter lodged in the pad of my right big toe for the better part of a fortnight.

I don't know when or how I found my new friend but I suspect it was in the relative safety and comfort of my own home. See, I walk around my house barefoot all the time, which is probably a not a great idea, but I don't like shoes and socks so much. And slippers get on my damn nerves.

Anyway, I first found my friend a few days ago, while my sister was visiting. No amount of home-surgery could coax it out. At first, I was a bit alarmed. I kept thinking back on some story my Gram told me about someone kicking the bucket after a sewing needle entered their bloodstream by pricking the foot, traveled to the heart and wreaked cardiological havoc. I mean, I didn't really ever buy that story, but dang, I had some kind of glass splinter in my foot. Naturally, I did not consult a medical professional but instead continued efforts, based on internet research, to coax the little vixen out myself.

Even after I stopped poking at it with make-shift surgical implements, I could still feel the little bugger all the time. At no point did it actually *hurt* badly or anything, but it was pinching when I step down a certain way. Also, during the salad days of our new symbiotic friendship, I found that when I took off my shoes, some sort of Friday the 13th had taken place up in my socks.

Ok, I realize, nobody wants stories about feet, but what can I do? It's not a medical malady so much as a bizarre a science project. A science project in my very own toes. And if you're reading this blog, it probably means you're a sick unit anyway, so you probably enjoy this sort of thing. Back to our story.

After a few days, the intruder (and the host toe) stopped bleeding altogether, leaving behind a tiny magenta dot. The dot has been involved with my toe ever since and remains to date. The dot itself is slightly translucent and kind of pretty. It's like a little bindi. A wee li'l toe bindi. Decorative, if you will.

Yeah. So anyway, I did some I did some internet reconnaissance on my glass splinter and it appears that it'll just eventually work its way out or become a part of me forever. Some fellow sufferers bemoan this possibility, as if they prefer not to host foreign bodies in their feet. As for me, I feel I'll never be truly alone again. Or truly naked. So I've got that going for me, which is nice.

Fast forward to the present. Little Bindi doesn't hurt at all, not even the occasional pinch. I mean, I have pretty thick soles from my mis-spent youth - years and years as a barefoot lifeguard. It's like he's taken up a quiet residence in the calloused skin of my toe and isn't really bothering anybody much. I'm kind of growing used to the little guy. Plus, the next time I go to get a manicure pedicure and the stylist is gaping at my calloused guitar-player's fingertips, I can tell her, wait til you get a load of my glass toe! The possibilities for fun overwhelm me!

What's more, I feel like something out of a fairy tail. And by fairy tale, I mean one specific fairy tale, which is Hans Christian Anderson's The Snow Queen. You remember, where a microscopic shard from a shattered, evil mirror (made by the devil himself), which was designed to give back ugly reflections to everything beautiful worked its way into little Kay's eye then into his bloodstream, eventually turning his heart to a lump of ice and distorting his view of all the beautiful things in his life and made him scorn all the beauty around him, including his (perhaps too?) loving sister and his sweet old grannie.

Wow, the metaphor opportunities here are endless, considering I know lots of people in life who seem to have developed glass splinters of the more traditional sort, but I'll settle with the truly obvious outcome instead: WHAT IF MY TOES BECOME SURLY? Let's face it, nobody, least of all me, wants her toes to suddenly get uppity. I mean, my toes have been submitting to my will all their lives, what with the pointy shoe discomfort and running and the aforementioned barefooted tendencies, so this is no time for them to grow sullen and discontent.

Do you know what I mean?