My Cracked Heel

Adam Grundy
3 min readMay 2, 2022
Photo by Conscious Design on Unsplash

The skin on my feet is hardened and callous.
Not from a life spent hiking, or long hours on shift. Not from standing guard at an outpost. Not from lack of access to adequate footwear as I struggle to traverse some far-off land, shown once a year on telly in a fundraiser. That's just how it is. That's just how they are. That's my skin. Comic Relief.

They've always been rough.

The rest of my skin has spent a lifetime alternating between states of dry-to-raw, raw-to-broken, broken-to-weepy, weepy-to-scabby, and then, if lucky, back to dry again. A never-ending cycle of repair. A never-ending pursuit of perceived normality.

“Why's your hands dead wrinkly?” “Has it been snowing outside?” “Why's your face red?” “Why don't you like staying over at someone's house?” “Why you itching?” You know, because I decided this. I chose this trait at the character selection screen. I thought, aye the last one I mained with had a good go round. A smoothskin with five brain cells, who can't get enough of that four candles sketch. Ded funni that innit. This time I'll make it a bit of a challenge. Not too challenging, I'll still make him a white lad in a developed nation, with access to clean water and education and a stable family, but let me turn those allergies up to 8 and make it so that he's got to moisturise his humongous head twice a day so it doesn't crack into oblivion. That'll be a laugh. Will he laugh? Wonder what that'll do to his young psyche. Wonder what that'll look like when he's older, tee hee hee. Striving for a giggle. Sweet tooth. Inescapable dreams. Fill the anxious void between biting his fingers and pleading internally to not give in and rip his entire face to shreds.
Make him an Evertonian too.

My heel is cracked. The flesh has split and petrified once more, and it catches on a sock or a bed sheet. My feet make a sound as I writhe in bed, and it's quite fun. To me.

Who cares about what my feet look like? They've never caused me to miss out on milestones, they just sit in my socks and wait around, while the rest of my being causes emotional havoc.
My feet might look like a carpenter's in Judea, but I like them. I like that I've never had a corn or a bunion. I'm 33 and I've never had a blister. I feel like my feet are invincible. I reckon I could sprint on hot coal on Jon Tickle's Brainiac. Shove that custard Jon, I can peg it over flames with my flippers.

I've let the skin on my feet become coarse and solid. I could be scrubbing them with a pummy stone. I could get one of them foot masks. Boil in the bag and spend a week peeling them off till they look like a newborns. Saw that on Tiktok once. But then they'd be vulnerable, right? Wouldn't they be more susceptible to friction? To the aforementioned blisters like the normies get all the time (I assume)? Why would I kick off my armour if the world is full of swords and daggers all pointing at me?

I'm afraid that if I sat there and dedicated time to making them look like everyone else's, they'd still be my feet. Wrinkly and weird. All in vain. I'd make a big go of it one day, and they'd just be back to how they are in 2 months. What's the point?
Isn't it easier to keep this wall of defence up, when it feels like I'm fighting the Titans from morning till late late late evening elsewhere?

My feet could be trotters, crusty mud enshrined on my little piggies. No roast beef for that middle one, not when the back of my foot looks like it's been behind a desert market stall for 80 years. You go around the sun a few times and you realise, no one cares about your feet when they've got their own.

Now if I had hooves? We might be able to get some of that Mr. Tumnus money. Bet he’d make a killing with an OnlyFans. Lucky sod.

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Adam Grundy

Creative writing from under a dark cloud. Filmageddon person of interest (http://www.filmageddon.com). A pro TV watcher (real job). UK-based. Silly.