by Jake Barnes

From time to time my wife and I make a visit to Salon du Monde in Niles to get our nails trimmed. For my wife it is a luxury, for me a necessity. I can trim my own fingernails but not my toes. I have had a hip replaced, and I can't (or shouldn't) bend over that far.


The girls all give me a hard time because I have big feet. One will make a comment, and the others will laugh. Personally, I don't see what is so funny. Maybe it's some kind of private joke.


One takes a bus to work, all the way from San Jose to Niles. Near her home is a colony of feral cats which she feeds every day. I always give her a twenty dollar bill before we leave so she can buy food for the animals.


Two of the girls are cuties. One is the boss, the other is just a kid. The “kid” has a little boy. I can't understand a word she says. She has a pretty face. Kim, the boss, knows what's what. She is attractive, too.


I love to watch Kim work. She styles and cuts hair. When she is working on a customer, she is all business. The look on her face is priceless. All concentration. I admire that. I don't care what you do in life, you should always do the best you can.


While I was getting my claws clipped, I noticed a flyer on the wall touting something called a hot rock massage. “Whoa,” I said. “What's that?”


The youngster who was working on my toes looked up and smiled. “You like that,” she said. I shook my head.  If I was going to get a massage, I didn't want any rocks on me. Just hands.