In Which Woody Allen Goes For a Pedicure
“Yeah, um, yeah. I’m here for a . . . you know, for my feet.”
“Yeah, uh . . . My mother says I gotta-”
“Right this way sir.”
Woody Allen had never been for a pedicure before. Were they clean? He’d heard such places may not be clean. Sure, they could look clean. Appearances and all that. But germs can be anywhere and what if they drew blood? His toes had grown pulpy. Fibrous cuticles jutted out at all angles. Haphazard attempts to cut his own nails left jagged teeth at the end of his feet. They’d probably break out the chainsaw once he pulled out his sad potatoes from his loafers.
The seats weren’t leather. They were fabric, something synthetic, soft. The best material to capture other people’s filth. Bed bugs even. Right? Bed bugs were infesting this city. What if they nestled into the fibers of his tweed suit? And then into the fibers of his being. Then he’d fray. He was already fraying, he knew that. His therapist knew that. His mother knew that. But he’d fray more. Unravel. One line of stitching gone and then another and then another and then he would just be another naked New Yorker standing in the cold with his toes nicely polished. And then some jerk would come around and he’d say…he’d say nice feet man. Aren’t you cold? And then Woody would realize that yes, he was cold. Because it was New York and it was April and as much as he wanted to believe that April meant spring, it didn’t. Except for the beginnings of allergy season. Woody Allen would be on the corner of Broadway and 80th with no clothes and sneezing and he wouldn’t have any tissues to wipe his nose because they were in his pockets, which had gone the way of the jacket.
“No thanks, I uh… changed my mind,” Woody stuttered as he turned and shuffled out of the salon into the bustle of New York City. His mother would understand.
Jennifer Fliss is a New York raised, Wisconsin schooled, Seattle based writer. Her writing has appeared or is forthcoming in The Citron Review, Bird’s Thumb, Brain Child Magazine, Prime Number, People Holding, and elsewhere. Recently, she was a finalist in Glimmer Train’s Very Short Fiction Contest. More can be found on her website, www.jenniferflisscreative.com
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