All the old familiar places

I went to get my nails done. Pulled up in front of the beauty salon, got out of the car and stepped through the swinging doors. Like an old western saloon. Once upon a time, the manicurist I saw here was platinum blonde. Skin of her face weathered and wrinkled.

I liked talking to this manicurist more than any shrink I ever saw. The manicurist was down to earth. What was her name? Angy? Angela? No matter. Only thing about getting my nails done, was never could relax my hand and let it go. See, you’re supposed to remove yourself. Your control. And let the other person lead, like in a dance. I can’t do that either, by the way.

And always felt ashamed that I made it more difficult for the manicurist. Each time, I tried harder to relax my hand and let her do her work. On this day, I had a coupon and a check from grandma, a birthday present. And it had been a long while since I had gotten my nails done. I looked to the corner where Angela? normally would sit, and there was a young woman with short brown hair sitting there instead.

Part of me was sad. And part of me was relieved. “Can I get you some coffee?” the receptionist asked. I nodded and sat in one of the wooden chairs to wait.

September, 1994

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