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The Plot Thickens

Photo: Genessa Gutzait · The Sentry

The Taming of the Screw

There’s a screw under my desk. Or maybe it’s a nail. Well, wait. Hold on. They just informed me that they are, in fact, neither nail nor screw but something in between. I can call them Screw though. So, that’s cool.

I first met Screw in August when I sat down at my first production as leisure editor and felt something scratch my leg. I peeked underneath to see what had caused such an unpleasant feeling, and that’s when I saw them glistening in all their shiny splendor.

For a while, we weren’t friends. I told my coworkers about them. My coworkers didn’t do anything, and Screw persisted to be a nuisance.

Once, I tried to snuff out Screw. I waited until they were asleep. You can always tell that a screw is asleep by the sound of it’s turning. At night, a screw turns at a rate of about one turn every four hours. During the day, a screw turns at a much faster, yet still imperceptible rate of one turn every three hours. Just listen and you’ll be able to hear the slow grinding of metal against wood.

Once I knew Screw was asleep, which shouldn’t really matter anyway because screws (and nails) don’t have eyes, like paper clips or staples obviously, that would be ridiculous.

But once Screw was sound asleep and the grinding was slowed, I ripped the eraser head off of a pencil and shoved it on the pointed end of Screw that stuck out (quite literally) from the woodwork and always stabbed me in the leg to remind me it was there.

Screw woke up immediately and tried to fight back. But I’m a human and they’re a screw, so I won. Obviously.

But eventually Screw shoved the eraser head off when I wasn’t looking. They didn’t die and I was angered. But at least I’m not a murderer.

Some weeks later, after I had forgotten about the whole incident, Screw scraped my leg and asked to talk. So we did.  That’s when we decided to become friends.

For a while we kept our relationship a secret. We thought the world would never accept a man being friends with the exposed part of his desk. But recently, as our bond grew stronger, we both felt the need to tell someone. Anyone. So, here we are.

Now, everyday when I come in, Screw gently cuts my leg to remind me they’re here, and I rub their sharp end to comfort them. I love Screw and they love me too.


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