i keep my nails short now.
i remember cutting them all off for the first time.
i suddenly felt like krystle carrington and i knew they had to go.
i thought about the time i got sent home from school because i had 'fire engine red' polish on them.
i was about 5.
i thought about the time i had a scrap with my best friend marie in the playground - she pulled my hair and that gave way to a kick and a nip and so on. my long nails got involved and she ended up with a bleeding scratch. after playtime i had mrs mazzer's class. we sloped in, marie and her bloody cheek, me and my 'denim blue' fingernails. marie was sent to the nurse and i was thrown to the wolves. mrs mazzer told the class to listen carefully. she told me to stand on my chair. she told them that i had clawed poor marie's face, cut her to ribbons with my talons. she told them that i must be a cat because cats have claws and little girls do not. she told me to stand on the desk. she asked the class what sound cats made. someone miaowed. someone else hissed. she told the class to all make the sound that cats made and soon, every one of my class mates were loudly and joyously hissing and mewling and wowling and screeching. i don't remember how i felt or if i cried. i think i was about 6 or 7 and cats were (and still are) my favourite thing in the whole world.
when i try and remember mrs mazzer's face i imagine a scrunched up ball of brown paper with an old lady wig, i don't know why.
today my nails are short and round and shiny and the colour of raisins.