nails - quotes and descriptions to inspire creative writing
Taylor could never wash the stink from her nails. She could still see the blood, she had scrubbed them in detergent and gone over them with bleach infused cloths, yet it stubbornly remained. She had cut them right down to the quick so severely that her fingers hurt to hold anything. She fantasied about removing them altogether but she had never been one for pain. So instead she walked to the store in only her U2 t-shirt and pyjama pants, quite oblivious to the snow and cold. All she could think of was blue nail polish. She figured blue would be God's colour for sure, that way He would hide the scarlet stains. When the police car pulled up she panicked. These officers were here to arrest her of course. She broke into a shambling run, her slippers offering no grip on the cold white ground. Then she turned, trembling, her hands out-stretched for the handcuffs that never came. She was familiar to these officers though she did not recognize them, it was time to take her back to the ward.
Ivan took the paper from the newspaper stand and studied it for clues. Sometimes his employer would communicate through the small ads. The stall holder moved closer, his face like someone waiting with feigned patience in a bus line-up. Huffing and puffing he rocked back and forth on his winter boots, hands being rubbed before him. Then he stopped dead. Ivan halted his reading too. He knew people never just stop these entrenched behaviours for no good reason. He inwardly cursed. He hadn't scrubbed his usually manicured nails after the last "house call." Without looking he knew there was blood both under them and on top. He would make a joke about having to prepare burgers for the "kids" and take care of this man after he closed shop for the night.
The new girl tried to hide her nails under the long sleeves of her over-sized sweater. They were short, painfully short. She had nibbled them down past the point where the nail meets skin. Along the top of each was a pronounced pink ridge and on some of them flecks of red. Tyler swallowed what he was going to say, perhaps his usual rambunctious greetings weren't right for her after all. After an awkward moment he just said "Hey," and wandered away, hands in pockets.
Her nails were not attractive, they were practical nails that were the product of hard work. There was no time for the pampering she heard people talk of as she juggled as many jobs as possible. Part of herself felt ashamed, as if the short chipped nails took away her femininity. Yet the responsible side of her felt some sort of pride, her nails showed her kind, hard working character. Her individuality from those privileged people who turned their nose up at her, but would turn running to her for help as soon as a problem arose.
Her nails were long, but not in a nice way. They weren't shaped or painted, they just looked like she hadn't bothered to cut them for months and they were blackened with dirt trapped behind them. One nail had ripped to the skin and had left a soft jagged edge. Her cuticles were over-grown and frayed so that they peeled right back to her fingers in places and bled where she'd pulled the tiny strips of skin off with her teeth. I'd see her do it in class sometimes. Maybe it was a nerves thing. But I could only imagine that she lived in a house so disorganized that they did not possess a pair of nail clippers or a small pair of scissors.
Her nails were cut right down to the skin, I can't imagine that nails that short could be useful for anything. But to her they were more hygienic that way. She hated the idea of dirt trapped behind the nail. Given half a chance she would describe to me the many types of bacteria that could lurk behind a dirty nail. She was a little bit of a hypochondriac really, but at least I'd never get the stomach flu eating at her house.
She would go into rapture about her new nail-job every time I called her. Even if all I wanted to do was to check if she was going to be at the bar on the weekend, I'd have to listen to her describe her new french polish or how her nails looked like pandas, or parrots, or little puppies. Honestly, I couldn't care less about her nails but I always 'oohed' and 'ahhed' and said ' so cute' in all the right places. It was a real obsession with her and she spent a fortune on them. When I think of all the good that money might have done donated to a kid's charity or something, but no, she spent it all in the nail salon every week. I guess it made her happy though, and she did earn her own money, so I suppose she can spend it how she likes.
As the doctor extended her hand to shake mine I couldn't help noticing her nails. They were bitten down to the skin and torn in places, like some nervous child in need of bitter nail polish.
Jeanie had the nails of a practical woman, short and unpolished. They were unapologetically natural, each one being a tiny reflection of who she was inside.