She was young and white—not your typical nail salon attendant. Her hair was red and long with green under layers, her tattoos were many and a little messy, with blurred lines and disproportionate animal heads and bodies. Her clothing was from the cheaper stores at the mall, the hippie/whore variety. Her nail tending techniques were stellar, however, her craft clearly more important than her look. She buffed and polished as if she had done it a hundred thousand times. She stared out of the large salon windows a lot, causing me to look out onto the street with her, hoping to see what she saw, what she longed for, what ever it might be that would change the empty expression on her face. She didn’t seem bored, she seemed alone, accustomed to, but not necessarily comfortable with, her singularity—which was a guess on my part, as she offered no clues as whether or not she had a mate.
“Do you have any pets,” she asked me. There was a clue.
“No,” I replied. “For the first time in my adult life, I have no pets.”
“A pity,” she said. “I have a cat.”
She sanded my feet some more, she sighed, she stared out the window, and then he came in and she straightened. She licked her blackish lipstick lips and smiled a half-coy smile. He winked at her but went straight to the other attendant and kissed her on the neck as she sat hunched over another pair of feet.
My redhead turned back to the task in front of her. “Are you married,” she asked me.
“I’m separated,” I replied.
“A pity,” she said again. “I have a husband.”
photo credit: everydayhealth.com