To protect the wood floor from your wet dirty feet, you slip into your clogs—the ones with the custom cushioned insoles. The best purchase, ever. Do some writing, forage for lunch, then dinner, until it’s time to get ready for yoga class.
Upstairs in the bathroom, you kick off your shoes. The floor is cold from the air conditioning. Ow. What’s wrong with your foot? You put your right foot up on the basin and twist it so you can inspect the bottom. A splinter has slipped under your skin at the mound of your big toe. A black stripe under your transparent skin.
You grab tweezers from the medicine cabinet and hop over to the nightstand for your reading glasses. Hop back to the bathroom where the light is brightest, but you still can’t see well enough to snag the tip of the splinter with the tweezers. You juggle a 10x magnifying makeup mirror in one hand, tweezers in the other, but you can’t get the right angle. You give up; you’ve got to get to yoga.
You worry the splinter will hurt during class, but it doesn’t. Yoga is blissful. You don’t wobble at all in tree. Your teacher, Carolyn, has taught you how to keep your balance. You love yoga—the most perfect thing in life. Nothing can spoil yoga. But triangle pose hurts your left knee. Well, it’s been hurting off and on for weeks, because you went a little too far in yoga at home. Twisted something. After class you ask Carolyn about it.
She prescribes ice. Ten minutes on, ten minutes off.
At home you go straight to the fridge for the cold pack. It’s not there. Remember? You threw it out. It smelled like freezer burn, and you can’t stand that smell. You fill a plastic bag with ice cubes, wrap the bag in a towel, and hobble down to the family room, where you intend to watch a movie while icing your knee. You’ve left the phone, with its timer app, in the kitchen. So you watch the clock.
It’s a great movie. Half an hour in, it feels like you peed ice water. The plastic bag leaked, and the towel is soaked. You try to leap out of the recliner, but it’s reclined. You're trapped. Cold water is pooling under your butt. You’re kicking and cursing and waving your arms for momentum, and finally manage to climb out. Run/hobble/limp to the kitchen to throw the sopping towel into the sink, peeling off your yoga tights along the way.
Buy a stupid cold pack, Dawn.
While you drip-dry, you think maybe you should get an adjustment with Kelli, when you go buy the cold pack. She’s made it so easy to book an appointment online. And then she emails a funny confirmation, saying how brilliant and good looking you are for scheduling. You love that email.
Your laptop’s on the coffee table, so you hobble, wide-legged, to the living room. You notice how pretty the philodendrons are, draping down to the floor, graceful and lacy. The perfect plant for your shaded house. You notice the philodendrons are drooping. Forgot to water them, didn’t you? You go back to the kitchen, then water the damn plants.
You open the laptop. The screen is blurry. It looks like waxed paper. This is bad. This is bad. Your computer has bought the farm. Oh, wait. You’re wearing your television glasses. Your reading glasses are upstairs in the bedroom.
While you’re limping upstairs, the splinter pokes your right foot. You come down hard on your left foot, shooting pain through the aching knee. Hop the rest of the way on the outer edge of your right foot. You find your reading glasses, the 10x magnifying makeup mirror, and the tweezers. Sit on the bed, the bad foot resting on the bad knee. You’re trying to see the bottom of your foot and get the right angle, but every time you think you’ve grabbed the splinter, you pinch your skin. You stab your foot with the pointy end of the tweezers. Now you have a splinter and a stab wound.
You lean back on your elbows and blame the whole thing on the ceiling. A splinter? Really? So undignified. So minuscule. So incapable of getting you any sympathy.
The ceiling fan blades are circling. You love that fan. The breeze on your skin. The quiet motor. The hypnotic spinning. You drop the tweezers, drop the mirror, take off your glasses. You lie back on the bed.
You … the splinter … the fan.