APPLETON, Wis. It’s officially summer sandal season. That means it’s time for you to start thinking about what you are going to do with that pinky toe. There’s no more hiding in boots, socks or slippers. Like a turtle head, and just as attractive, that thing has got to come out of its shell.
The pinky toe is an odd little appendage. If the head and heart are the location of the soul then the pinky toe is at the southernmost tip. It’s the Antarctica of the body, remote, mysterious, necessary, but not a place you want to visit.
Specialists are required to tackle the rugged terrain of the pinky toe. It’s no longer a simple digit with a nail. It’s a cluster of half- living half-dead skin that looks more like a Frito than a toe. The manicurist moves along with careful brush strokes to paint your tootsies until she gets to the smallest but most daunting of the toes. Then she pauses, examines the gross medley of cuticle, dead skin, and nail from different angles holding an instrument that is no match for the pinky. Maybe she considers trimming it.
Really though, it’s all an act. She’s just as baffled by the creature as you are. Finally, she dribbles polish on the flattest surface area of the mangled mess making it look like she is confident that the spot she covers with In the Cabana or Tiki Tiki polish is in fact the place where a proper nail should be.
There’s no more hiding that pinky toe in boots, socks or slippers.
You both go along with the charade and ignore the fact that something vile and undead is a part of you. Actually, I think that is the whole raison d’etre of the pinky toe. It’s to get you prepared for what is going to happen to you in old age. It’s the first part of the body to show signs of degeneration. It gets ugly quick. There is nothing you can do about it.
No one is immune. Your body will deteriorate. Nasty things will happen to you as you age. Strange hairs grow from unlikely places. Skin crinkles like party streamers. There is shifting and reconfiguration of parts. By the time it’s all said and done, you are barely recognizable, except the soul inside.
And that’s what the pinky toe does. It gets you comfortable with aging from a very early point in your life. You learn to keep going, take it out for a stroll on a sunshine filled day and hold your head up high. Because like the pinky toe, life is short and you better enjoy it while you can.