Nail Varnish

Such a trivial, vain obsession.

Yet, at the same time, so much about what i am now…what i am becoming…hope to become.

i wear it because it is beautiful: because i love the way it looks; the way it lengthens my fingers; gives an unwaranted gracefulness to my hands.  For the first time in my life, i can look at a part of my body and think: yes!  i like what i see.

But what do YOU see, the casual passer-by, shop assistant, school-gate gawker?  Someone who ought not to be wearing make-up at all with brightly painted nails.  Blue today, in case you wondered.  Pinke yesterday.  Green the day before.

And if i ought not to be wearing such stuff, what does that make me?  An object of derision?  A freak?  A threat?

In Boots, a young shop assistant, glanced briefly at my hands, then up at my face.  A moment of confusion flickered across her eyes.  Does not compute, perhaps flashing on her inner LCD.

i can handle that.

But then there’s the beefy guy stood outside tesco, who glances first at my hands, then scowls at me.  Or the smartly dressed young male, sat in a coffee shop today, who kept looking over.  Not smiling.  Not smiling at all.

my world is not the safe place it used to be.

i do not have to paint my nails.  Of course not.  i could hide, as i always have: i could pretend to be boringly, safely normal.

But i am not: not any more.  So i wear it because it looks beautiful.  Because it makes me feel good.  Because, at the end of the day, it marks me out as who and what i am… and the world can take me or leave me.

A full ten fingers up at their convention and bigotry.  i will try not to think about consequences.

j

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