Roy Batty’s Dead


Let me tell you about the mother of a stubbing I gave my toe. But at least there was a silver lining. I mean that literally. A couple of years ago, I sheared too far to the right while walking through a  doorway and accidentally penalty-kicked the doorframe beside it, splitting the nail of my big toe badly. The worst part was that I couldn’t sleep after that. It wasn’t the pain keeping me awake, but the bedsheet continually snagging the jagged edge. At best, it was a distraction; at worst, it presented the danger of a further tear.

I come from a tradition of self-medicating whose tricks of the trade include Krazy Gluing minor lacerations closed,  and my solution here was similar: I trimmed a small piece of duct tape to the precise dimensions of my toenail, creating a protective patch. I just left this on until the nail grew out, which took most of a summer. Because I did a neat job of it, it simply looked to any casual observer who saw me in sandals as though I’d glammed it up a little by painting that nail with silver polish. And that, readers, is how I became a cyborg.

Technically, that’s true. You don’t need to have a subprocessor implanted in your brain to qualify, or to be able to shoot a laser out of a bionic eye. You don’t even need a Jarvik-7 artificial heart or a carbon-fibre prosthetic leg. If you’ve augmented your body with any technology, you’re technically more human than human, whether you’re wearing false teeth, eyeglasses, or, arguably, even a wristwatch. So, by upgrading my body with the greatest technology of all — duct tape — I became a cyborg, albeit one with a limp.

And I’m one again. While helping unload my girlfriend’s luggage from a taxi two nights ago, I mangled my big toe under the casters of a 60-pound suitcase as a I dragged it to the curb, and not long after ward, she made a tender moment considerably more tender when she accidentally kicked the jagged nail and split it further. (Her somewhat unsympathetic reaction: “Hey, at least you have something to blog about.”)

So, I cleaned up the blood and used my experience to fashion another fake nail. This time, the only duct tape on hand was black, so I’m not just a cyborg — I’m a goth cyborg. If anybody needs me, I’ll just be over here reading Phillip K. Dick novels and listening to old Bauhaus records.

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