She did not move her lips. She stared. There was an emotion or lack of it that I cannot describe. Her daughter was also there and chatted with me, but the mother, her hair plastered with colour, refused to acknowledge me. I can understand strangers not acknowledging but there was, as I slowly discovered, a certain resentment.
Why would a stranger resent one? I had not taken away anything – she had her appointment, her work being done. It was disturbing.
When I was through, in a mood of defiance I declared, “Today I will not use white or silver, get me a dark shade.”
The pedicurist brought orange. I cringed. The young woman said it would look great, I should try it. One finger. Striking. Marvellous. The older woman gave me even more dirty looks.
“Nah, too loud for me.”
I went though the browns, the maroons and finally settled for a dark pink.
Waiting for it to dry, I watched her, again and again. Looking for clues to her, and even to myself. Perhaps she saw something that made her react? A reminder?
Today as I look at my nail varnish I see her eyes in them. I rub them against a hard surface and it is already chipping away. Little pink specks like dried flower petals dot the table.
I blow them away like autumn wind would.