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But was nail girl done? Oh no. She proceeded to do a salt scrub, running that tough stuff all the way up to my elbows, then massaging it in. My worn-out, typing-all-day hands screamed (as hands do in their silent way) with pleasure. Salt salt salt, scrub scrub scrub. I was an exfolliating man, and I loved it.
She told me to go wash my hands in the sink, which was a little unpleasant because I was dripping with salty goo and had to turn on the faucet and wash my arms to the elbows in this tiny sink. But, gathering inner strength reserves I barely knew existed, I persevered. The washing was done.
When I came back, she sprayed what looked like silly string on my arms, only this stuff was cold. It came out of a metal tube and when she rubbed it into my arms, they came awake, as if all my life I'd had limbs a'slumbering. Now my arms were, "What? Where? Huh? Wuzzat? Let's DO SOMETHING! Take me hang-gliding!"
I waved my arms around, flexed my hands, posed with my pretty, pretty fingernails. My arms were soft, smooth, made for the touching. I felt like I should have six girls around me, cooing over them.
But it wasn't over. In my armloads of pleasure, I'd forgotten that I had signed up for an eyebrow waxing. Now, hear this: My brows are not bad. I'm not all Dukakis. My brows, in fact, have been complimented by people far less hairy than I. But I won't lie to you, faithful readers. There may have been a stray hair or two up there, near the middle, you know, between there somewhere. NOT A UNIBROW. No. Nothing like that. Just, you know... a straggler here and there. A very tiny, unnoticeable, negligible straggler. So why did I wax? Because stragglers must die.
The woman who was to do the waxing was friendly, but in a whole other way. She was a mother hen, trying to make me all comfy before pain I didn't even know was coming. She laid me down on a table mat and shined one of those dental lights on my eyebrows. Next thing I know there's the tip of a stick going toward my brows and OW OW OW OW OW OW FUCK OW HOT! It was HOT, y'all. Maybe the MANicure had lulled me into a false sense of sensory calm, but there was suddenly hot fire on my brows. I went, "YIKE!" and my body spasmed. "It's a little hot," she said. "No fucking shit," I thought, surely with my freshly hot-waxed eyebrows furrowing.
She put a strip up there and yanked and OW OW OW OW OW OW OW OW OW, more pain. She put pressure there with her thumb, but nothing could make me forget that I'd just been burned and yanked awfully. I wanted it to stop. This wasn't what I'd signed up for. I'd made a terrible mistake. But then I began to imagine myself walking out with a half-completed eyebrow waxing, looking like the announcer from Cabaret. I decided to let her do her job. After all, it was just pain. I'm a man. I could take it.
No I couldn't. It hurt. She did both sides, out toward the edges, the far reaches of Foreheadia. She waxed UNDER my eyebrows, down into the very tender flesh of my eyelids. She waxed skin I didn't even know I had up there, skin that had heretofore been oblivious to sensations like touch and heat. My eyebrows began to ache, angry at me that I'd willingly put them through this. "Who are you, Omar?" they asked me with their their very low-frequency telepathy that only works because they're so close to the brain, "we don't even know you anymore."
Then came the worst part. Apparently there comes a point in every waxing where the wax just isn't going to do any damn thing more. You have to go in there with tweezers anyway. She did. She came at me and plucked and plucked and fucking plucked for what seemed like hours, awful Marathon Man hours of sheer excrutiating pain. I could hear, "Plink plink plink plink plink plink plink" and each one was like a cheese grater ripping off tiny noodles of my soul.
"Plink plink plink."
I wanted to faint.
The eyebrow lady told me the tale of a recent Brazillian wax she performed and I wanted to report it to Amnesty International.
And then it was over. I got up. The skin under my eyebrows was all red, as if I'd gotten a sunburn from a very selective and unmmoving sunbeam. I paid actual money for my afternoon of pleasure and hurt. My eyebrows, though it pains me (literally) to admit it, looked pretty damned good.
I walked out into the mall with my big red puffy eyebrows and my super smooth arms. Ladies better look out.
Hey, look at this! Stuff to buy! Haaawwwt-Damn!
Don't be idiots in the election this week, okay, populous state to the west?