Jul 11, 2006


I apologize for yesterday's post. Not for the vitriol, as that was entirely warranted, but for the lack of judgment I showed in taking you through the entire film. I thought I was above all that misery loves company stuff.

On to more amusing things. Before going to see Pirates, I went and got my nails done. It was our big night out, after all. I wandered around Chinatown, not seeing anything, until finally, tucked away in the shadow of City Hall, was a nail salon offering a manicure for only $7! Score!

I ducked in. It was empty, just a mid-twenties woman and an early-fifties man. I chose my color, and sat down. At first we sat there quietly, discussing only whether I wanted my nails filed square or round. She kept looking at me weirdly, and I sighed to myself--I should've worn my iPod, but it's too late now.

"Where are you from?" she asked.

"Hawaii," I said.


"Hawaii," I repeated.

"Where's that?" And now I stared at her. This was the first time in my life a person had never heard of Hawaii.

"It's. . .it's an island," I said.

"Oh. How old are you?"

"I'm twenty-five," I said. Yeah, I rounded up by a month.

She looked shocked. "So old?? I thought you were nineteen."

"I know, people think my little sister is older than me."

"Your what?" (I'd like to make clear that she spoke English perfectly).

"My sister. People think she's older." I was regretting having given a more-than-one-word answer.

"Are you religious?"

And now we're past normal idle-manicure-chit-chat. And I made a choice--I could be annoyed, or I could sit back and marvel at the weirdness of this conversation.

"No, I'm not."

She looked more shocked than ever before. "Not at all?!"

I shook my head, smiling.

"Oh. I ask because, you look like you're from Israel."

"No, that's one of the few nationalities I'm not."


"Never mind. No, I'm not from Israel. Are you from Israel?"


"How long have you been here?"

"Two years."

"Do you like it?"

"No, I want to go back. It's all work here. Are you married?"

"No, I'm not."

"Good. Don't get married. It's horrible to be married. I hate being married." I'm now realizing that older guy must be her husband, and I hope he's stepped outside for a bit.

"Do you live around here?"

"In Jersey City. New Jersey."

"New Jersey??" She's shocked.

"What do you do?"

"I work in publishing." She looks at me blankly. "With books?"

"Books?" She looks shocked again.


We actually sit in silence for a bit, until she asks "Are you sure you don't want a design on your nails?"

"No, thanks."

"It's free. . ." She sounds so bored, and hey, free is free, and I've never had a design before, so I go ahead with it. According to Girl, the designs on my ring finger look like fringed number sevens.

She leaves while my nails are drying, and her husband returns.

"Did you like. . .what she did to you?"

"Um, yes. Thank you."

"Do you work around here?"

"No, I work up in Soho."


"It's above Chinatown?"

"Chinatown?" He looks shocked.

Never mind.

"What are you doing now?"

"Well, I'm going to go to the movies."

"Where, in Chinatown?"

"No, there's a movie theater down by the Trade Center." Which is, let it be stated, three blocks away.

"Oh yes, the World Trade Center. There are no buildings there."

"Um, no. No there aren't." And I skedaddled.

Coming Up For Air, Patty Larkin


Mal: "I hate to bring up our imminent arrest during your crazy time, but we gotta move."


1 comment:

Guy said...

I think I may have to go get a pedicure there just to have my own experience with the crazy Israeli nail lady.