Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Click (04/18/13)
TITLE: Cut, Scrape, Maim and Dismember
By Judith Gayle Smith
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I cherish my Mike’s beautifully weathered, lovingly caressing hands. I adamantly refuse to cause undue pain to my handsome lover, although he occasionally risks limb lopping when he insists that I clip his fast-growing thick fingernails.
Click, click, click. Pray between each nasty click. My nervous shaky hands and very sharp nail clippers make an extremely dangerous pairing, (or paring for those inclined to puns).
Parkinson’s Disorder affects Mike’s left side, making it almost impossible for him to clip the curving nails on his gnarled rheumatoid-twisted right hand. Mike bravely grooms his bent left hand, waiting for moments free of violent shakes. Understandably, therefore, he sweetly, but firmly requests my rather unwilling help.
I would do just anything to please my beloved husband. Well, anything within reason. I have an unreasonable, unshakeable fear of sharp items that cut, scrape, maim and dismember. I have nervously clipped his fingernails twice in forty years. I fear not the nasty little clippers themselves, but the position in which I am placed using them, with the propensity to cause extreme pain and copious bleeding. I cringe, awaiting the shrieks of pain as I click too sharply, cutting away his fingertips.
Right now I am contemplating the toenails on my pasty white right foot. Touched with a wee bit of nasty yellow ridged fungus, these riotous toenails grow to incredible lengths. I fear using Mike’s industrial-strength toenail clippers, and so shakily balance, chin on knee, to cut these monstrous claws with the sharpest pair of scissors in my repertoire. I have good reason to fear – my jewelry crafting scissors are used by three different crafters to cut wire, string, paper, hair and the hapless chicken destined for the stew pot. Not much sharpness left. The abused scissors just folds my hapless toenail in half.
Perched in the bubbling bliss of our Jacuzzi bathtub for almost two hours, reading medical thrillers, somewhat softens my soggy toenails and I can almost peel them off with my fingernails. Unfortunately, my water softened fingernails tear as I struggle with my toenails. Oh, if only I could gleefully bite off my toenails as I used to chomp down my fingernails.
I am most uncomfortable cutting hair, whether my own or Mike’s once beautiful curly hair. Scissors, shavers, knives and razors are tools designed to perform mischief and mayhem. Shaky hands or no, the damage done by one misaligned snip is horribly irreversible and downright embarrassing.
I haven’t always been this nervous with scissors and clippers. We once were possessed by our sweet crazy parakeet named Isaac – Zack, for short. Child of my old age, child of laughter. Zack trusted me so – sticking his striped, feathered, warm soft fragile head in my, by comparison, cavernous mouth. He would then lift his exquisite turquoise wing so I could nuzzle his soft downy wing pits with my nose. He was brilliantly smart, hysterically funny, sweet anise seed (like licorice) fragrant– and owlishly wise. He once foolishly trusted me to trim his curving talons. Actually, he didn’t know better. I could be trusted to keep his food and water cups full, provide jingly toys, to clear his bright mirrors to delight his narcissism, amusing himself as well as we observers. He trusted me to keep his cage somewhat, not fastidiously clean.
While my husband held Zack’s tiny trusting body firmly, gently, I cautiously approached with the nail clippers, better known as the jaws of death. Trembling, I bravely clipped one teensy talon, fearing to cut too close to the quick. Click. Success. On to the next little curvy talon, click – oh no. Zack let out a banshee squawk, flutter-jumped out of Mike’s protective hand, screeching and frantically hopping the length of the kitchen table, leaving wee, guilt-inducing bright red blood spots in his tortured wake. Zack magnanimously forgave me. Trust can be cautiously rebuilt with enough seed tree bribes. Zack survived me and lived to be eleven years young, despite my fumbling machinations.
I’ve a far better tool for cutting sin from my life – God’s Holy Word, His Bible. Some passages cut sharply. He has a purpose: KJV Acts 2:38 “Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.”
The Sword of the Spirit cuts cleanly, leaving no infection. I trust His wielding of His two-edged word because He is the One handling it.
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