Last week I faced my fears. I went to the podiatrist. Her name was Louise. She was very nice. Very reassuring. It made me wonder why I’ve put it off for ten years.
I don’t like showing my feet to strangers. I’d rather show my vagina any day. Toes are weird. The more you look at them the creepier they become. Feet are just unnatural. I know they’re a crucial part of our bipedalism, but they’re ugly. Bumpy, dry, knobbly. Hairy toes. Cracked nails. Weird growths.
Feet are like the weird porn you find on the dark web. You know it’s out there, but you’d be better off not looking. Feet start off good, but it’s pretty well downhill once your paws hit the pavement. Feet don’t lie. They know how old you are. How you have lived. What you have done.
I sometimes wonder if I find feet disgusting because they’re unfiltered. Feet are Truth. It’s probably why baby feet are so achingly beautiful. Babies are pure. Their puffy tootsies are like fat silky caterpillars. I want to kiss baby feet. Smell them. I once imagined biting off each tiny perfect toe. So plump and pink and fleshy. Once those hoofs hit the highway, start sweating in their sneakers, start stinking up socks, it’s game over.
I think any person who works on feet is a saint. Mary Magdalene was possibly the world’s first podiatrist. She didn’t have the luxury of a Danoz Direct foot spa; she had to use her own tears. And hair. If you think about it for too long it’s disgusting, because Jesus would have had manky feet. He wore sandals FFS. He spent a lot of time at the markets. He was walking around the desert. Animals would have shat in the street. There was no proper sanitation. Jesus would have had some serious parmesan cheese-styled cracked heel going on there.
But Mary didn’t care. She knelt before Jesus and administered quite possibly the best pedicure on the planet. I bet the apostles were unstrapping their sandals hoping she’d do the lot of them. ‘Mary’s such a giver,’ they thought, wiggling their hairy toes under the table in sheer anticipation. But there’s only so many tears a girl can shed in a day. Even if it is the heart-wrenching regret of a prostitute.
The Last Supper foot-washing scene is probably the most erotic passage in the bible. Christians harp on about Christ being celibate but he was still a man. I’d reckon there would be no way the dude wouldn’t have had a pretty impressive erection going on there. Maybe even Priapus. It could have well been how he managed to rise from the dead later that week. Just thinking about that foot washing would get any man off his death bed.
EL James in her S&M bible 50 Shades of Grey doesn’t come anywhere near the pure unadulterated eroticism of Mary on her knees at the dinner table in John 12. He really nailed the foot-washing scene.
I hope Jesus didn’t have toenail fungus like I do. It’s why I am at the podiatrist. I have ignored it for 10 years. Hoped it would go away. And when it didn’t I painted over it so I couldn’t see it. Because that’s what you do with stuff you don’t like, isn’t it? You hide it. Like the speeding fine I put in the bin and pretended I never saw. I knew that my toenail was deteriorating, but I tried not to think about it. I used darker polish. Thicker socks. Until the other day it just tore right down the middle. So that’s why I’m at the podiatrist sitting under the poster with all the pictures of calluses and bunions and hammer toe.
Oh Sweet Jesus please deliver me from Hammer Toe. Dear Louise, or Mary Magdalene as I am thinking of calling her, isn’t crying, nor is she using her hair. Her hair is cut short. Probably a workplace health and safety thing for people like me hoping for the hair dry. She has equipment, and she seems unfazed by what I am certain is hideous. She snips away at my toenail with the same ease a farrier files down a hoof. I am tempted to whinny. Instead I whine, ‘Will it be okay?’
Louise smiles, ‘Yes, it’s very common’. Well that’s reassuring. It’s probably the reincarnation of that kombucha scobie I dropped on my foot almost two decades ago.
Louise keeps clipping. The toenail is almost gone. I can see the nail bed. She assures me that in a few months the toenail will regrow. The fungus will be gone. I am not so sure. All I know is that I have entered the realm of feetal unattraction. No amount of tears is gonna wash away my sins.
In the meantime while my toenail undergoes treatment I am enjoying the unexpected thrill of sending unsolicited toe pics to friends and family. The kids in particular. Be warned. You could be toed.