So I discovered habitforge.com and I haven’t bitten my nails in 7 days. I’m always able to stop for a little while if I think about it but right now my nails are longer than they have ever been and I’m obsessed with them. First of all, and most annoying, they are filthy. I wash my hands all the time and still, mysterious crud lines end up under there almost constantly. To keep my mouth from solving the problem I’ve been carrying nail clippers around and scraping the stuff out several times a day. It’s probably the number 1 thing that made me want to bite my nails, seeing dirt under there – which I would then consume with the delicious nail clipping which is, yes, gross. But I’m finding the scraping oddly satisfying, if somewhat ineffectual. The real problem is that when they get too long, I don’t actually know how I will clip them using traditional methods. I have never purchased or owned nail clippers before now and, though I have honestly tried, I have no friggin clue how to use them. That goes for my toes too, because I typically just wait until they are long enough, peel them off, and then suck on them for awhile.
This is turning out to be a thrilling and fascinating post, is it not? I have been insanely focused on my average-length nails (it’s like having a new body part for me) but everything else on my mind has been more…complicated.
Like death, death and more death. Right after the holidays, Rob’s aunt passed away (she was 90 years old). We went back to his family’s for the wake and funeral. I found out yesterday that a friend of my family died as well on New Year’s Eve. This man was actually my father’s boss for at least 10 years and he was one of my favorite people when I was younger (and lived closer). He and his wife gave his daughter money one year to take me shopping for school clothes. My dad never liked accepting charity from anyone, but Bob could do it through us and get away with it. Actually, he was always slipping me and my brother cash when we saw him as well. He was just so good to us and always happy to see us, like we were his own family. He was only 60, I believe, but was ill for at least a couple of years. This time (exactly) last year, one of my friends and former coworkers died unexpectedly, and it was shocking and horrible and it hardly feels like it’s only been a year. For many reasons, it comes up for time to time. And if I feel that way, even a year later, I can’t imagine the pain that her family has gone through. It’s cold and there’s snow on the ground and I think I’m always going to associate winter with dying, which I suppose is obvious, with natural symbolism.
When my uncle died a couple years ago, it was also unexpected, but after a life of struggling with mental illness, it was generally looked at (by my religious extended family) as a blessing, for his soul to be at peace, finally. At the Catholic funeral last week, the priest spoke about faith being a gift for those in grief. I can’t buy into that because I can’t assume that I could ever understand the afterlife. I don’t presume to know that it’s all over, or about heavenly judgment, or anything else. It makes life more meaningful to me, to think that this might be all there is. That the limited time I have is of the highest importance. I wouldn’t really say that my beliefs make death seem more permanent and final. I’m not really afraid of dying, one way or the other, because I guess I just have some sort of trust in the universe. If it’s the end of my existence, like I suspect it is, it won’t make a difference to dead me. If it’s not, then sweet, because I live my life with good intentions and I recycle. I don’t know what it could be like to die, I don’t know what’s become of the people I’ve loved who have died and it’s not really so important to me to know, anyhow. Their lives meant something; I believe in that more than anything.
I don’t know where this is going. I’m sad today.
Tomorrow, I’m taking a standardized test for a state job and I need to have two #2 pencils and a calculator with me. I haven’t seen a Scantron in over two years. That should cheer me up hardcore.