“I do for you.”

“What dat on ankle? Oh no.”

I had my Earned Leave today.  Hooray.  I went to get my nails did at a small salon on Beverly Blvd.  I haven’t had a pedicure since before prison, and there was work to be done.  I waddled in for the appointment and chose a color (bright purple!!!).  I’ve gotten pretty used to having the ol’ ball and charging cord, and I sometimes forget that I have a court-ordered device on my ankle.  As I perused the nail polish selection, I was reminded of my criminal status when I noticed unsavory looks from a gaggle of Beverly Hills housewives gawking at my ankle.  I shrugged it off and settled into a chair.

A friendly Korean woman with a misguided understanding of the English language took a chair in front of me.  I put my feet in a tub of bubbles and warm water, being careful not to submerge my bracelet.  She started in pruning the wreckage on my feet.  It’s safe to say that I underestimated the gravity of my situation.  When she first went to work with a scrub brush and seemed to really be putting an unusual amount of elbow grease into the labor, I said, “Oh, ha, I guess it’s been a while.”  She gave a strained smile and set the scrubber aside.  “Give dat,” she said.  “Uh.  Huh?”  She indicated to a power tool on a table near me.  “Oh, um.  Here you go.”  She fired up a machine that looked like a sanding dremel.  I glanced around the salon, then watched in horror as she sand-blasted my feet for a few minutes.  I thought it was over when she set the machine at her side.  I shot a reassuring smile to an onlooker.  I looked back at the pedicurist.  Turns out she was just reloading.  Apparently the device had been exhausted by the damage, and it needed a new battery.  She cocked it and went back to drilling.

I dunked my feet, and she squirted goop on my lower legs, spraying around my ankle bracelet.  She started massaging my foot, then paused to stare at my bracelet.  “What dat on ankle?  Oh no.”  I gave an awkward smile and shrugged, arms in the air.  No sense trying to explain it.  I buried myself behind text messages for the remainder of the treatment, gave a generous tip, then escaped the situation with beautified feet.  That woman was doing the Lord’s work.

190 days to go.