It is one of those days where music just sounds better. Even the songs you’ve heard a thousand times–especially those. I sit reading Stephen King by the window; a thing you do when you have nothing to do and nothing to read.

“How can you read and listen to music at the same time?” N asks, walking in. I put my kindle down. I start hearing the music again, ABBA. I pause it.

N slumps down on the couch beside me. I hand him a cigarette. He doesn’t object. I light one for myself.

“ABBA? Really?” he asks, nodding toward my computer.

I shrug. “It’s the type of music you listen to when you’ve got nothing to do and nothing to listen to.”

N frowns. “You’re listening to it on YouTube?”


“So you have pretty much all the music in the world to listen to, that made no sense.”

I place the ash tray between us. “Yeah, but it sounded nice.”

“The music?”

“No, what I said.”

N narrows his eyes at me. “It was nonsense.”

“Nonsense can be beautiful.”

“Can it?”

I hit play on ABBA–Chiquitita, I tap my foot along with the beat.


N shrugs, sinking deeper into the couch.

“Missing someone sucks,” he groans.

I don’t nod, I don’t need to. He knows I agree. Instead, I smoke and wait.

“Do you ever rub your own skin, maybe on accident and find that, somehow , the touch of your own skin makes you think of that person, makes you miss them even more?” he asks, serious.

I can’t help choking a bit on my cigarette.

“Hm, no?”

His bottom lip sags. “Yeah, no, I know, it’s weird.”

“No, it’s not that–it’s just, I’m really hairy.”

N looks thoughtful. I knock my cigarette out in the ash tray.

“You don’t miss hairy people?” N asks, finally.

I suddenly think of my best friend. I place my hand on my chest, lightly scratching my chest hair. N frowns at me. I pull my hand away.

“Uh, no. I mean, yes, but no. It doesn’t make me miss him. I thought you were talking about, like, romantically missing someone.”

“I was.”

I glare at him. “Well, then why the thing about hairy people?”

He shrugs, “just curious.”

He takes the back of his hand and rubs it along his arm. He looks lost for a moment. Then, he takes a deep breath and stands up.

“Oh well, it feels nice. Too bad you have hair everywhere. It helps, oddly.”

He turns and walks out.

The music, instead of singing, nags for silence. I pause it and frown down at my own body. Suddenly, I get an idea. I bend one leg up, take two fingers and brush them along the bottom of my foot.

it tickles.




A Writer and an artist living in Russia

33 Comment on “What is Written on the Bottom of my Foot

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