Why not otherwise

“Gentle socks pamper them by day, and shoes cobbled of leather fortify them, but my toes hardly notice. All they’re interested in is turning out toenails – semitransparent, flexible sheets of a hornlike material, as defense against – whom? Brutish, distrustful as only they can be, my toes labor ceaselessly at manufacturing that frail armament. They turn their backs on the universe and its ecstasies in order to spin out, endlessly, those ten pointless projectile heads, which are cut away time and again by the sudden snips of a Solingen. By the ninetieth twilit day of their prenatal confinement, my toes had cranked up that extraordinary factory. And when I am tucked away in Recoleta, in an ash-clolored house bedecked with dry flowers and amulets, they will still be at their stubborn work, until corruption at last slows them – them and the beard upon my cheeks.”

Jorge Luis Borges, from “The Maker”

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