My feet hurt. Was it a rusty nail or a weed? I was walking barefoot; I like it. There was no reason for weeds to grow on tiles, although the thought of the fertility of ceramic baked to symmetrical proportions was enticing.
I poured some water. It’s funny when I think about it. Do sharp objects get washed away? Nothing happened. I could feel its bite. I rubbed it on the doormat, in up-down and rotary movements. Doormats that can carry the weight and dirt from shoes would surely be able to extricate what lay beneath my feet. No.
I still felt the pain. What I had forgotten to do was look at the soles. Just sit down and cross my legs and look. I started preparing for it as though it were some sort of ceremony – a pin, some gauze, an antiseptic, a lotion.
Then I sat, crossed my legs and saw the soles of my feet. The heels were a deep pink and just where the feet arched in a half question mark, as if unsure whether it was all right to ask anything or ask for anything, I saw the cause of the ache.
It was my own skin on its last legs, unshed.