Glamour Nails

By | 13 May 2024
We sit side by side, on vinyl recliners, a newly crowned king and queen. Our backs are kneaded and pummelled like bread dough. Your deep voice judders above the froth and bubble of footbaths. I was curious when you asked to join me for a mani-pedi at Glamour Nails. Now, I listen to you talk after three years of single teen syllables. Yeah. Nuh. Stuff. Lin runs more hot water into our tubs and pours in a steady stream of blue crystals. You’re a lucky Mum. Such a strong, handsome boy. You pay little attention to her as you fan the sample sticks of nail designs on your lap. I worry that you’ll get in trouble at school. Just one thumb Mum, it’ll be fine. You choose a French bulldog and I choose Kiss me, I’m kind, the latest pale pink in gel. I close my eyes and we’re quiet for a while.
                                                Last week you took a girl to a formal. You were excited for weeks about the beauty of corsage blooms and your new Italian suit. That evening, you called and asked me to pick you up early. Silence filled the car as we drove home around the bay. On the salon wall, hangs a picture of two perfect hands with nails like painted moons, clasping an Arum lily. A young woman finishes the ears of your bulldog with a fine brush while Lin trims my cuticles. And then you tell me something I have always known.

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