something in the water

by uzwi

I haven’t cut my nails since we arrived here. They haven’t grown much. Perhaps it’s something in the water.

I wondered if I should cut my nails when we arrived here. But in the subsequent month they’ve hardly grown. Something in the water, perhaps. That’s what F thinks.

I remember looking at my nails the day after we arrived here, and wondering if I should cut them. In the subsequent month, though, they’ve hardly grown. “Something in the water, perhaps,” F suggests when I tell her. She looks down at her own nails.

I looked at my nails the day after we arrived here and wondered if I should cut them. A month later, they’ve hardly grown. “Something in the water,” F suggests when I tell her. She shrugs. She won’t let me look at her nails, but later I catch her examining them carefully.

I remember looking at my nails the day after we arrived and asking F if she thought I should cut them. A month later they’ve hardly grown. F shrugs. “Something in the water,” she suggests. She won’t let me look at her nails, but later I catch her at the bathroom sink, washing her hands, spreading her fingers, washing again. “What’s the matter?”

The day after we arrived, I remember, I asked F if she thought I should cut my nails. A month later they’ve hardly grown. F shrugs. “Something in the water,” she suggests. She won’t let me look at her nails–though I am always up for inspection, F never is. But later, passing the bathroom door, I catch her at the sink, washing her hands, spreading her fingers hands held flat above the water, washing again. “What’s the matter?” I ask. “Nothing,” she says, smiling and closing the door. “Nothing’s the matter.” Then, from inside: “Nothing, nothing, nothing’s the matter.”

The day after we arrived, I remember, I asked F if she thought we should cut our nails. A month later mine have hardly grown. F shrugs. Something in the water, she suggests. She won’t let me look at her nails. I am always up for inspection, F never is. Later, passing the bathroom door, I catch her at the sink, washing her hands; spreading her fingers, hands held flat above the water; washing again. What’s the matter? I ask. Nothing, F says, smiling and closing the door. Nothing’s the matter. Then, from inside: Nothing, nothing, nothing’s the matter.

Nothing will ever be the matter again.

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