As I am an aspiring pianist, it is not surprising that my fingernails and I rarely agree about what is best for my health. After spending a few hours locked away in the vault (or any practice room, for that matter), my nails inevitably begin to protest. Chipping, cracking, or downright crumbling, they constantly attempt to impede my practice. But, lo! I am not one who gives in easily. There have been very few instances in which I was forced to heed the remonstration of my digits. My general rule of thumb (no pun intended) is to halt only when blood makes an appearance. Unfortunately, this is what happened yesterday.
I had clipped my nails in a very short fashion, mainly due to a certain trill in a certain Mozart sonata that I had decided must be played on the extreme tips of the fingers if I wish to play with the appropriate articulation and clarity. My second finger was quite tender (maybe I'd gotten slightly carried away with the shortness of my clipping), but--as a seasoned pianist knows--if one merely ignores this fact, the tenderness is replaced by a certain amount of numbness after a half hour or so, which in turn makes the remaining hours of practice entirely bearable.
And so, I finished my early-morning practice session with a slightly numb finger, but none the worse for the wear. I proceeded with the remainder of my day in the usual fashion: teaching, going to class, and then heading to the good ol' HBLL. (Well, to be technically correct, I was already in the HBLL, as that was where my class happened to be.)
Little did I know that my mistreated fingernails had taken upon themselves the arduous task of teaching me a lesson. Plotting and scheming, mulling over their less than pleasant allotment in life, they at last found a way to get back at me.
An hour into my shift, I went to look for an item for a patron. I bent down to grab a book, and the next thing I knew, my finger was searing with pain. A book with a cardstock-paper type cover had found just the right angle to insert itself between my fingernail and the skin underneath said fingernail.
Yes, it hurt a little bit.
Blood started gushing out by the pint, and before I knew it, I was lying on the ground pleading with my fingernails to forgive me of my horrific wrongdoings. Never again would I cut them so short! Never again would I practice till all that remained were chipped, sad excuses! Never again would I so heartlessly ignore their existence!
At last, after losing at least another twenty pints of blood (yes, I know the human body actually only contains 8-10, but that's my story and I'm sticking to it), I crawled back to my post at the reference desk and used the last bit of my strength to climb into the chair, cradling my injured finger in the opposite hand.
"What am I going to dooooooo?!" I moaned to my friend Joseph, who was sitting nearby on a couch.
Dear, kind, sincere Joseph looked up from his laptop and said, "I've heard soaking it in lemon juice really helps."
"Really?!" I asked both desperately and deliriously.
Of course, the ridiculousness of this statement dawned on me a few milliseconds later.
In other news:
Did you know the word 'gullible' has five 'l's in it?