As the years passed, the appendage began to hide under the protection of the third toe and soon it began to ache. The owner became increasingly aware of its retreat. But when the middle toe’s bone was crushed, the crooked toe found a purpose and pillowed the poor, shattered digit while it tried to heal.
Sneakers were her favorite shoes and were justified as she took on more athletics; hiking and baseball, the attempts at tennis and cycling with her young husband who was so completely enamored with exploring the rest of her body, he never even noticed the malformation.
With age, the weight of carrying children in and on her belly made the toe flatten and useless. She often thought of amputating it and remembered what that looked like on the neighbor who had lost two toes from a tractor accident. Horrifying! She concluded that a crooked toe was probably better than no toe at all.
Throughout the years the toe continued to be a nuisance, keeping her from running barefoot on the beaches, disrobing in the daylight for a hungry bout of sex, or freely kicking off her shoes anytime she felt the desire. She felt better when she wore socks and took delight in searching for the brightly colored, cotton ones and the softest possible.
When she found herself single again with the prospect of romance, she scheduled to have her toe corrected through surgery. The doctor laughed at her and told her to tape a stick to it and leave it alone. She imagined the horror on the coroner’s face once her body decided to kill itself, the crooked toe notwithstanding. To her, the blasted thing had already died!
Now a sexagenarian, ripened by age, the very wise woman ponders deeply those unfortunate souls without limbs, blind, or disfigured and while bathing, scrubbing her tired feet, she silently apologizes to the toe that kept her vanity at bay and her humility whole.