"Sure, I'm happy."
As if he didn't hear me at all he continued, "You need to be happy. Do what makes you happy. You be happy."
"I'm happy. Don't I look happy?"
"You no happy."
My longstanding relationship with the Vietnamese manicurist known as Mr. Freud is one more akin to doctor and patient at times.
There was no one else in the shop this morning. I had a lot on my mind as I watched the busy Labor Day weekend traffic whiz by the large picture window down the streets of Boringsville, USA.
Maybe he has a point.
I'm content. That's it. Peaceful. Content. Staid. I am those things
"You still like your job?"
"What you not like about it?
"It makes me tired. Very tired."
"Why you tired?"
"It's exhausting. Every day is exhausting. I never catch up."
"I see you look tired when you look out the window. It...not good to not like a job."
Maybe I'd better perk up.
"You no like your job you get sick. It make you sick."
"Do I look sick to you?"
He took a long inquisitive look and said,
"You no like your job."
You sure know how to make a girl unhappy. If I'd wanted analyzing I would have written on my Facebook wall. Why pay for therapy when I can come to my manicurist for a diagnosis?
But he gives the best manicures in the known world.
Over the years I've learned to sit still. Now he just laughs when I ouch. He has ouches too. He and his wife run the nail salon together. Some days I knew they were having a tiff. He was silent. She was silent. He hurried through his work. Other days he took great pride and pleasure in creating a perfect look for me, taking his time and beaming when I praised his abilities.
After seven years in the same chair holding hands, you get to know a person.
Apparently, he knows when it's time to scramble my pencil brain.
I can't even hide it from Mr. Freud for one hour.
He stopped talking and let my happy self stare at moving traffic. But my head and heart already knew what he was saying was true. My closest friends have been telling me this for two years. It's not my wall-talking self I want to run away from. It's the endless hour days and the nonsense regulations and rules that drain the life out of me, keeping me from doing what I've been sent there to do. The intrinsic rewards are no longer enough to sustain my desire to keep on keeping on - not unless major changes are made - and I don't see that happening. It's not what I do - for that is truly who I am to the core - it's the venue I've chosen to do it in.
I need a new plan. Maybe graduate school. Maybe a book publisher will fall out of the sky into my lap. Maybe a miracle. Maybe private academy teaching. My mother says I should sing funerals and weddings and graduations
Miracles work better when there's a plan.
For good measure I thought I'd take one more stab at his perceptive vibe just to be sure. He was almost finished with the job he was sent here to do.
"I can't quit my job. I have to pay my bills. It's only me ya know."
"You not happy. That no good. You. You need to be happy. Just...you know.... happy."
He's pretty wise for a man who thrives on finger torture.
Join us for BlogBlast For Peace Nov 4, 2011.