Simile (si’-mi-lee): An explicit comparison, often (but not necessarily) employing “like” or “as.”
She’s like a bicycle with one wheel missing, scraping a groove in my heart. It hurts like the time she sanded my left butt cheek with #80 garnet grit sandpaper. She crumbled my butt’s smooth skin like a piece of cheddar on a cheese grater. It hurt. I think I need to get away from her before I end up in a frying pan with a couple of eggs.
But for some reason, stemming from some kind of mild mental illness, I am unable to leave her. I want to think that her propensity for inflicting pain is a passing thing. But then, I realize we’ve been together for five years and she’s been marking me up the whole time—that’s more than “passing,” it’s become officially “chronic.” Now, she wants to amputate my little toe, cure it with some kind of chemical concoction, put a hole through it, mount a jump-ring on it, thread it with a piece of rawhide, and wear it around her neck, making a fashion statement on love’s commitment. The only objection I had was that she wanted to paint my toenail “Essie—Easily Red.” I thought that shade of red was too festive. I thought “Shades of Red—Rust” was more appropriate for an amputated toe. It had a somber tone to it. After a brief argument, we settled on Rust.
The time came to amputate my toe. We decided that since I was right-handed I would miss my right toe more than my left toe, so we went with the left toe. I was wearing shorts and removed my Birkenstock from my left foot. Everything for the “operation” was laid out on the TV tray table: a zip-loc bag, a roll of surgical bandage, adhesive tape, scissors, a washcloth, and hedge clippers. Everything was fine until I saw the hedge clippers. They reminded me of the hell my father put me through clipping our twelve-foot high hedge when I was a kid. I was 14 and I would fall off the ladder, once enduring a mild concussion that set me back learning arithmetic—a setback I never quite recovered from. I would get blisters on my hands from the clippers, and knock birds’ nests to the ground at my father’s prompting. It was truly devilish work. Now, my toe was to be amputated with hedge clippers! “No!” I yelled and ran out the door and down the stairs wearing only my right Birkenstock. Halfway down, I tripped and fell and rolled onto the lawn.
I think my girlfriend had given me some kind of sedative in my Matcha to prepare me for surgery. I was having trouble moving, and through my double vision, I saw Mr. Rainy, the maintenance man, headed straight at me on his zero-turn lawnmower! He was hoisting a bottle of beer to his lips and wasn’t watching where he was going. I yelled as loud as I could, but between the engine noise and his noise-cancelling earmuffs, Mr. Rainy couldn’t hear me.
I caught a glimpse of my girlfriend standing on the stairs, doing nothing. Mr. Rainy saw me at the last second and whipped off to the left and shut the mower down. He helped me up and called a cab. I was going to stay with my friend Jessica. She was a geek—not the nerdy type, but the circus sideshow type. She raised hamsters for her act and was notorious for her performance reprising “Nightmare Alley.” We got along well. One day, I looked out the window and there was my old girlfriend down in the street slowly making a cutting motion with a a pair of hedge clippers. She did this every day for a week. Then, she disappeared forever. Luckily, I had gotten my stuff out of the apartment one day when she was at work at the tattoo parlor.
I never saw her again after what turned out to be her last hedge clipper performance. I had my life back. When I talked about her to people who asked I would say “I severed my relationship with her. I cut off all ties. It wasn’t brain surgery.” Nobody got the jokes. I didn’t care. Living with Jessica was wonderful. Her biting sense of humor headed off all my gloom.
Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (rhetoric.byu.edu).
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