Yesterday on my way to the gym, a tan, late-twentysomething woman tuning out with headphones and big sunglasses stopped me on the sidewalk and asked, “Do you live in the neighborhood?” I cannot tell a lie, so I said yeah, despite tending to be wary of that question. (And frankly, all questions from strangers—I don’t know if I seem more approachable than usual but in the past three days I’ve been asked how to get the G train, which was easy, how to get to Strong Pl., which I wasn’t 100% sure about other than it was north of where we were standing, oh, and I chased down a woman who’d dropped her jean jacket near the turnstiles and when she didn’t respond to my “hey!” which I wouldn’t either, I tapped her on the back and she whipped around so angry I thought she was going to punch me. Can’t blame her.)
“Where do you get your toes done?” was the question. “I don’t,” was my sad blunt reply. I wanted to help because I am a secret helper but I had nothing.
That’s what Sundays are for, doing my own cheap, imperfect manicures and pedicures. I still haven’t succumbed to paying for the service, and now I feel more resolute in maintaining mani/pedi independence.