Little Women

by Jake Barnes

The girls in the salon are all excited about having two days off for Easter. My wife and I get there at nine a.m. The place is buzzing with little women, all clad in black smocks. I get a new girl this time. A youngster. She doesn't smile until after my mani-pedi; I gave her a ten dollar tip, five for the fingers, five for the toes.


A tall Asian woman is having her nails done. I look over her shoulder at my wife and think to myself that my wife is beautiful, but in a different way. The Asian beauty's face is like cream. My wife looks at me and winks. I grin.


A man is sitting in a chair in the waiting area reading a magazine. His young son is getting a haircut. The boy is a good little soldier. I don't think he is enjoying himself, but he doesn't complain. I remember when my father took me to the barber shop. I hated it. I was afraid the barber would nip my ear with his scissors. When the boy is done, his father pats his head and helps him put on his jacket.


When I am at the salon, I feel like a kid in a candy shop. So many pretty women! The employees that is. In general the customers are not. The salon employees are all from Vietnam. I marvel at their flawless skin, their dark eyes, their glossy black hair.


When I first started coming to the shop with my wife, one of the girls commented on the size of my feet. “You have big feet,” was what she said. The others girls giggled. I have no idea why they thought this was so amusing.