Over the weekend, I was reaching in my purse to retrieve something and instead jammed blindly into some otherwise harmless papers I had brought home with me. Perhaps guided by my overgrown fingernail, perhaps by some viscous tree spirit in search of revenge, the normally innocuous pages dug deep into the soft skin.

I drew my hand back in agony, the paper cut searing under my index fingernail. Blood flowed quickly from the unexpected wound, followed by a steady stream of profanity. The shock from the cut not unlike reaching into my purse to find an angry asp or hive of bees.

I ran to the kitchen to wash my hand and clean the cut. The running water belied the depth of the cut, which surged with new pain against the cleansing soap and water. The finger left throbbing long afterward, affecting the use of my most used digit.

For days after, the inconvenient cut healed poorly. Due to its location and length of the nail, it became increasingly difficult to keep clean and protected. After some very uncomfortable furniture assembly, I grew disgusted with how little I could use the wounded finger. I cut the nail down as a last resort.

Three days later, I finally have more use of it. The wound finally healing enough to prevent it from reopening as easily, the bed of the nail still smarts as though struck by a hammer. I imagine it will still be a few more days before it finally stops hurting. Until then, I’m still working around a most inconvenient cut.