DAY 80

mary lacy built these houses

I never really looked at my hands until I started writing this. Usually I’m holding pencils, pens; fingers curled round and flying over paper - more intent on what’s birthing underneath - but since this...since...well, the flat pads of a keyboard make a better backdrop to my hands going over it. And I can see that those bruises have faded, the scabs gone - just a bit of paler skin there now, like vague clouds - and I looked down this morning and saw what a state my nails are in. Like, shocking. I’ve bitten them for years; since I was tiny. Mama said I was like a gerbil - always gnawing away and she’d put plasters on my fingers and kiss the tips, leaving smudges of Coty Apricot Honey lipstick that would smell like magic to me.

So I decided to get them done: SNS, that powder stuff which is a world better than the old acrylics I used to get. My local salon’s opened up again and it’s busier than I’ve ever seen it and Ruby squeezed me in even though I didn’t make an appointment. It felt good to be sat there, all the muffled chatter, smeared plastic, watching my nails come back on my fingertips like one of those sped up time lapse films of flowers growing; mad fast green shoots pushing, pushing, reaching up, unfurling judders of green leaves, petals bursting out...

And now I’m back here, at my kitchen table, tap tap tap - fierce nails like birds of paradise pecking, preening, beautiful.

Guilt still comes. Huge and aching; pressing down on my chest hard.

But this time I let it. I let it. I let it be.

She would love these nails...She would love them.


FOUND was written by Abi Zakarian
Co-directed by Emily Carewe and Jessica Rose McVay
Sound design by Anna Short
Illustrations by Katie Gabriel Allen
Website by NIMA

Ziazan - Jessie Bedrossian
Mama - Nathalie Armin
Lou - Rose Wardlaw
Reena - Amy Trigg
Kai - Emily Steck
Bunny - Gabby Wong
Mateo - Mika Onyx Johnson
Alejandro - Pedro Leandro
Man on Foreshore - Josh Finnan
Stevie - Ché Francis
Lena - Lilly Driscoll
Mary Lacy - Natasha Magigi