Acetone by Kimberly Sanford

Acetone

Carefully he placed the soaked brush against his dry nail, still fragrant from blue acetone. As he sat by his bedroom window arched over his desk, so focused on a dollop of violet polish, a dual toned sound rang out in the distance. Maybe it came from the harbor; he’s heard it all his life yet he never knew the source. His left hand shook more than his right, which was holding the brush steadily. He exhaled and placed it down just below his cuticle, dragging it down to the tip of his nail and repeating the step two more times. With the third swipe, a drop of eggplant lacquer came flooding over the side of his finger. “Damn it,” he’d whispered, defeated yet again. After picking up the bottle of polish remover, he dipped a Q-Tip into the blue liquid and ran it precisely over the smear, making the mistake unknown to onlookers. He dropped the Q-Tip down on his desk and leaned back in his chair, closing his eyes and waiting for the sound to come again.