The Silver Paint

April 29, 2011
It was a hot summer morning. She swept into the bathroom, her long peasant skirt trailing on the white tiled floor. She latched the door shut, then turned around and opened the white window. She opened the window shutters halfway, so that they appeared to be eyes just fluttering open slightly from a peaceful sleep. She reached into the white cupboard and withdrew all sorts of nail polish bottles; there was a metallic green, a lemony yellow, a hot red, a light orange, a sparkling gold, a rosy pink, a subtle navy, a bright white, and a smooth silver that seemed to dance inside the bottle as it swirled as a mixture. She chose the silver and sat herself on the cool tiles, settling her skirt around her and resting her back on the cold bathtub. She stayed still for a few minutes, closing her eyes and letting the coldness sink into her back and seep into her warm legs like ice melting underneath the hot sun. Then she unscrewed the bottle, slowly took out the brush, and wiped it delicately on the edge of the bottle until the blot of silver polish smoothed out onto the bristles of the dark black blush. Then, she began to paint.

She moved the brush slowly to her toenails, which were pressed against the tiled floor. She wasn’t nervous about whether the polish would drop on the white tiles; She was so skilled at painting her nails that there was no tension in her hands at all, no thoughts on her mind at all. All was silent except for the occasional breeze, which could be heard outside the window, sweeping through the trees in her backyard. The breeze crept through the shutters and blew at the baby hairs on her neck that were left over from the high bun piled at the top of her head. She closed her eyes and breathed in, then out. Then she opened her eyes once more and suddenly swept the brush along her big toe nail in three quick, perfect strokes. She continued on to her other toenails, until one foot was done. She paused, put the brush back in the bottle, and looked at her feet. Using her pinky finger, she swept around the curves of each nail until all of the stray marks were gone, and the paint looked like a silvery smooth texture on her nails. A breeze swept through the shutters again. She looked up out the window, and then closed her eyes, preparing once more to passionately paint.

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