She cut her fingernails

There was a woman in the BART station standing behind me in line. I was waiting for the BART train home, standing in front of the doors that would drop me in front of the escalator at my stop. She was clipping her fingernails with each clip loud and sharp. It was hard to ignore and I couldn’t stop thinking about how the ground would be littered with her clippings.

I turned around and gave her a long stare, but she ignored me.

Thoughts ran through my head.

The scene in The Catcher in the Rye when Holden’s obnoxious neighbor asked to borrow the fingernail clippers and clipped them far away from the trashbasket. Holden yelled at the neighbor, “Cut your crumby fingernails over the trash!”

And how when my dad as a young boy of 3 years old crossed the border with his family from China to Hong Kong during the Cultural Revolution. He stayed at a hotel during the journey where the beds had fingernail clippings.

Life’s Little Instructions book recommended never letting people hear you clip your fingernails.

And then how the monsters from Nickelodeon’s AAAH! Real Monsters survived on fingernail clippings. Maybe they would scour the floor of the BART station.

When my train finally arrived, I boarded…she stood next to me in front of the doors since all the seats were taken. She had stopped clipping, but looked bored as she watched the doors open and close, open and close, open and close, open and close, open and close, open and close, open and close, open and close, open and close, open and close, open and close, open and close, open and close, open and close, open and close, open and close, open and close, open and close, open and close, open and close, open and close, open and close, open and close…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.