No one wants to hear about another's need to trim finger and toenails. So I assure you, I have no intention of discussing the matter. However, I hope you will allow me to reflect upon the first time I heard the phrase ingrown toenail.

As a child, I lost many productive days staring out our living room window. I would see birds and squirrels and the occasional chipmunk. I would spiral away from the present by considering what the animals were thinking and then about my thinking about theirs, and so on until the light grew dim and my mother called me to scrub vegetables.

One afternoon, my meditative state was interrupted by the limping body of my childhood friend and current neighbor Sherwood Day. He struggled across our lawn toward the front door and, upon seeing me gazing out the window, curved his path in my direction.

"Malcolm, is that you?" He tapped on the glass as he spoke.

"Yes, it's me. You're looking right at my face."

"I have an ingrown toenail," he blurted.

I was utterly confused.

"What does that mean?" I asked.

He explained that his toenail was growing into the side of his toe making it painful to step.

"Why are you here instead of at the doctor?" I asked.

"I just wanted to let you know that I wouldn't be able to come over for a day or two on account of this toe."

I didn't see him for three days.

It was bliss.

No more delay!
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