My name is Rose. I fondle people’s hands and feet for a living. You come to the salon, ask for a manicure or a pedicure and the madam, yea that one with a smelly weave, points you to my corner. This sentence is supposed to establish in your mind that I hate her.
6.00am: I wake up to the yowling of several cats. Does anyone know what cats have to say to each other at this time and why they say it so loudly? Have they all gathered around my tiny house to line dance and practice solfas? It sure sounds like they have.
6.30: You probably think I’m an angry person; I’m not, as evidenced by cats still being existent in Uganda. See, every day at this time, I unchain my bike and ride to the saloon. If I wanted, I’d crush the heads of no less than 20 miaowers as a direct result of their arrogant refusal to get out of my way. Even when I make scary sounds and hand motions to shoo them away, they just stand there and stare at my front tyre. Insolently. Cat dodging has been a regular part of my life for 3 years now.
7.30: I’m reading a magazine, not cleaning the floor or washing towels or disinfecting the tools that I’m going to be digging into hundreds of feet and hands. I just can’t be bothered.
8.30: I’m running around like an ant on fire, trying to find a rolex for MADAM’s breakfast. If she arrives before the rolex, she’ll make me do something totally unexpected and horrifying. The last time I annoyed her, she made me scratch her itchy scalp the whole day.
8.40: The rola guys are still rubbing sleep out of their eyes, transferring it to chapatti dough, picking the cockroaches out of yesterday’s cabbage, which they’re going to use in today’s rolexes, man.
9.00: I return to find two women and one guy sitting in my corner. My tools haven’t been sterilized yet, but ah. People with diseases don’t come to this saloon. I feed the boss, smile sweetly at the customers and throw myself into the job.
9.02: It stinks. This woman’s feet are unbelievably dirty. Cuticles like smegma. She could win an award for these cracks, these fissures at the back of her feet. I admire her ability to plop such monsters into somebody else’s hands.
9.03 and beyond: I do the exact same thing the whole day. Nothing changes. I see feet, I cringe. I see fingers, I cringe. I cut people, I laugh. I dislodge a black piece of unidentifiable matter, I cringe. Yea. That’s how a day in my life goes. Want a manicure?