things i lost in the war
A toenail. “Did you drop something on it?” The manicurist paints them Pepto Pink, a thick color, enough to cover the blackened stub two toes in. Yeah, I dropped something. It might have been my eyes. I had to stand barefoot on the conference table at work to change the halogen bulb, they watched me warily, the boss and the office manager. My feet left footprints on the glossy table, “All this furniture was custom made,” and now it’s up to us to sell it on Craigslist in two days. It won’t fit in the smaller space where we’re moving. It’s a good deal, $100 for desks that cost three thousand dollars to build, in case you’re interested. The paralegal’s middle daughter is beautiful. She’s three and runs around the office in tiaras. “Don’t talk to me or you’ll get fired like Jenny,” she whispers in my ear, while her little hands hunt for more temporary tattoos. We share a similar aesthetic. “She’s gonna be trouble,” the paralegal says, “You can only hope,” I say. Meredithe’s boyfriend entertained the idea of going into the forest and never coming out. How else could you love him? The rarest are the favorites if you can stomach it: throwing diamonds, growing up on the 22nd floor. The nail is growing back now, clear unassuming ridges. The tomboy at the prom. All I ever needed.