In a manner of speaking

The rule, generally speaking, is don’t have a visible ridge. Take skin flaws, for instance, which can include crevices, creases, nooks, crannies and dings — facial lines that look like lightning or autumn branches and twigs, exposed neurons or the guts of membrane.

But you may, on the other hand, go ahead and have a menacing malformation in the topography of your psyche if you would like, disregarding — perhaps even flaunting — that spot where people will stumble and risk being maimed or at bare-minimum suffer a conk on the head or a stubbed toe, which can be hell since those mishaps befall us so abruptly.

“Ow,” we say. Or, “fuck.”

An ex-boyfriend once said he had a ridge on his nail. I had never heard the word used in relation to the anatomy. But he labeled it as such and filed it smooth with my lavender nail buffer.

He borrowed my nail glue, too, dabbing at the defect with the tiny brush loaded with goop in his desperate effort to stave off splitting, fissure, unrecoverable separation, like he and I when we crumbled into separate directions, which — not being versed in plate tectonics — we had not anticipated but rather had been confounded by when it came time to face the wreckage.

According to the continental drift theory, the Earth’s surface mutates when magma currents from the planet’s core rise and cause plates to shift.

When these convection currents move toward each other, plates connect and fuse, pressing up so snugly together that it gives birth to mountains — wondrous works of nature that can inspire awe. When the currents spiral in opposite directions, the Earth’s crust thins, causing ridges as magma rises and morphs into new rock to fill the gaps, making ridges a sort of scar.

Fracture zones can sometimes occur in weaker parts of these ridges, most often resulting in earthquakes. Ridges also can gradually spread apart, leaving valleys in their wake.

I would imagine that the ridge on my ex-boyfriend’s thumb, which he had agonized over daily, is plaguing him even today, as nail defects tend to stick around more or less permanently.

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