Ever since I met Shane, from Kunming China, I have persistently pestered him about the length of his left pinky nail.
It’s excessively long, for lack of a better description, and stands proudly above all his other trimmed fingertips.
But I feel as though I’m wearing him down.
It’s been a couple of months thus far, and I’m not too sure as for how long he can keep his resistance up.
The aura of mystery must shatter sooner or later.
“Hey Shane…..” I tried again; he was trapped this time sitting next to me at the back of the bus, “About that long fingernail of yours….”
“When I get home, I will cut it.” He simply said.
“Wait? Why?” I quickly flustered, uncertain how a long pinky nailess Shane would fit into my definition of what it was to be Shane.
“To avoid you asking again.” He clearly stated in his monotone manner.
“Oh, sorry, I didn’t know it was offensive or anything, I’m just super curious as to what you do with that extra inch of pinky nail of yours….”
“I use it to pick my nose.”
After so much harassment, and daily wonder it was that simple.
“I find it very efficient.” He defended. Then after a second thought and a beat of my unknowingness how specifically to react, he added, “But I no eat it!”
Thanks Shane, you know, at your peak of twenty-six years old and all one would hope…
“What about you?” He wondered, “What can you do?”
Good question. I thought. After that little self-sufficient Swiss pocketknife trick of his, I was feeling pretty inconsequential.
So, as a last resort, I reached up to my eye and plucked my contact lens out.
That seemed to do the trick.
Shane began to freak out.
No, really, and he did a great job of it too, for a guy with such a long pinky nail.
Apparently he’d never seen anyone touch their eye before, nonetheless “take it out,” as he phrased it, and he certainly wasn’t expecting such a gross performance from the little American girl sitting next to him.
Feeling triumphant, I flattened my contact out to pop back in before settling down into my faded pink padded seat.
A mutual silence of comradery spread between us.
Him and his long nose picking, not for eating, pinky nail.
Me and my grossly removable eyes.
Just a couple of freaks.
Stuck in the backseat of the bumpy bus.
Trying their hardest to one up one another sickeningly early before first period on a Monday morning.