A nasty, tactile wound is afoot


On my way out the door on Saturday night while I was rushing to get to work, I stepped on an exposed tack strip. I didn’t even know what a tack strip was until I was describing the incident to people. “You know that strip of wood underneath the carpet with the nails that stick up?” I would explain. “A tack strip?” a bouncer asked me. And at that moment, my home improvement vocabulary expanded exponentially. For practice, let’s use it again in a sentence.

There is a lot of exposed tack strip on my floor. One day, my standard off-white carpets got on my last nerve and I pulled them all up, rolled them like a crepe and put them on the curb. Unbeknown to me were the dangers of the sharp rusty “teeth” that lurk under that thick layer of fuzzy fibers.

Rushing as I would be on any Saturday, I stepped down quickly and pushed my foot forward. The nails stick up in different directions and effectively made deep diagonal cuts in my foot, but I couldn’t see them, nor did I stop to look at the time. It was painful and I let out a “GUH” kind of sound. Like the sound you’d make before vomiting. With watery eyes and determination, I just got in the car with bare feet and drove to work, bleeding on the brake pedal. I hadn’t been wearing shoes because … they were in the car or something. I don’t remember.

I hobbled in to work, decidedly undeterred. “It’s just a flesh wound!” I baby-wiped the blood off my foot and stuck an insufficient Band-Aid on the mess. I hate it when the adhesive part of the Band-Aid sticks to parts of the wound. I may as well have used duct tape for all it helped.

Instead of a confident sexy walk, I continued my debilitated pirate hobble throughout the night. It’s hard, you know, walking in 6-inch heels in the first place. When all your body weight is pressed on the ball of your foot, or rather, the ground beef that used to be the ball of your foot, it’s hard to keep smiling.

I know we like to talk about numbers, so let’s translate this disaster into figures. Saturday night, the night I got hurt, I earned about 35 percent of what I earned on Friday. The next day, when I should have stayed at home, when the wound was beginning to heal and the flesh was puffy and tender, I earned less than 10 percent of what I earned on Friday. I’d call that adding insult to injury. Ouch.

I gave it a good cleaning and really examined it, like I like to do with anything gross. I lifted out a triangular chunk of flesh like a wedge of pink and red cheese and picked out little specks of debris. Dirt and black sock lint were embedded deep in the wet crevasses of my foot. I am much too amused.

Anyway, that was my weekend in a nutshell. I’m still reading all the e-mails I got from everyone. Thank you! Between tending to some nasty cuts and reading e-mails, I was not bored at all.


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