OTN Monster

by Kavita

“That shampoo bottle is going to fall on it; the blade is going to cut through it; that high-heeled woman is going to step on it; you are going to keep the table on it”

Startled, I wake up; every day, during the day.

When I cook, when I eat, when I clean, when I swim, when I walk – every moment and every activity is an opportunity for the nightmare to show up. Except it shows up whenever I’m not sleeping. As if I get any good sleep anyway.

There is blood, there’s flesh everywhere; it’s a psychopath’s masterpiece and a sociopath’s well-forgotten moment. It’s meaningless yet full of possibilities. It unfolds itself whenever it feels like, as if I’m its only curator, only audience and the only admirer.

Let me tell you how it entered my life first.

I have this toenail problem. My nails just fall off, like I were a witch or something. They call it ‘calcium deficiency’ but no amount of milk has managed to keep my nails from coming-off on the slightest touch. It’s funny that even during my wedding, when my feet were painted, my toes were the eyesores in the beautiful henna design. But I am used to my topless toe. So, why is it any different now?

One of my toenails decided to die a few days back. No pain, no warning, nothing.

“Oh well.” I thought and went on with my life.

Until that disturbing morning when I was about to go and swim, and this nagging feeling that something is going to go grossly wrong, grew in me. I thought that if I stepped into the pool with that toe exposed, I would hit some random corners while swimming and the water will turn red.

I just bandaged that nail and swam. It helped for a few days.

Yesterday, I was taking shower. So, I used the shampoo and kept the new, big bottle back into the shelf just above the bathtub.

“Thud”, I heard a loud noise.

The bottle fell next to my feet and in a second, the open-toenail(OTN) monster came laughing in front of me.

“What if it had fallen onto my nail?” I freaked out.

I had my breakfast and the monster was still yelling intermittently in my head. I wasn’t able to understand why I was feeling the way I was. And why in the world would I let bother something as trivial as a broken toenail to take over my sanity? Why?

And then, at that moment I realised and saw very, very clearly.

I had nothing really to do. Sure I was taking care of the house, sure I was watching films, reading books and meeting friends. In fact, whenever I would do any of those activities, this OTN monster will not dare to fool around with me. However, I had no real daily engagement to keep my brain busy. I hadn’t been sleeping well. I had been living without a fulfilling occupation, like never before. I had been idle.

Like they say, “An empty mind is a devil’s workshop.”

In my case, it’s the OTP Monster’s flesh&blood studio these days.

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