Enough about that.
While I was doing my nails I got to thinking about this guy who used to do my nails. I'll call him Ray. Ray was Korean by birth but had been a refugee at an early age, and then had moved to California until his mother called him and said "Your brother and I need you at the nail salon." In his culture (as he explained it), that meant he stopped his own life and came back, learned to do nails, and helped his family, even though he and his brother fought constantly.
Anyhow, Ray had gone to Korea and then travelled a bit through other areas like Singapore and Vietnam, and he'd met a girl while buying ice cream. The girl invited him to meet his mother that night. He did. Her mother liked him. Apparently, somehow, from there, her mother decided they were getting married and Ray was okay with that, (again, a cultural thing), never mind that they had spent maybe a sum total of 2 hours a day together for the 2 weeks he was there, and always in the presence of either her mother or kid brother, for a total of 14 hours of supervised interaction. Never mind that she was 18 and he was 30. It was enough. He was in love. The girl had come to visit him and his mother for three months in the summer, however, and everyone was fine with the idea that this "practically married" couple were now alone with each other regularly, as well as under one roof. The foreign girlfriend had discovered American shopping and American porn.
Specifically, she'd discovered Maxim. Ray had showed it to her to try to turn her on. From Maxim, she'd found PlayBoy and then a cache of somewhat mild girl-on-girl videos that Ray kept for himself, and she was in love. She loved lesbians. She loved tender, soft, female kisses, and tender, rounded female asses, and smooth, neat female bodies. She would sit, locked in front of the screen, ignoring Ray and food and any previous plans while she watched two women make love to each other for cameras in indelicate places.
She told Ray that she had never seen another girl naked. She had a brother, who was younger, and she had seen him naked before, but she'd never even seen her mother naked. She kept asking Ray for more girly porn, and more videos were it was all girl-on-girl, and Ray complied, all the while testifying to his growing alarm to me, his hapless nail client and one of only two lesbians he knew (my wife being the other one). Apparently, my sexual orientation either made him comfortable telling me all of this, or he was just desperate to get some answers and thought I might be able to provide them.
The big problem for me was not just that I got to hear more about his sex life than I ever wanted while he held me captive with an armed emery board (though that was part of it). The big problem was that it was starting to take him an abnormally long time to do my nails. When I started to go see him, before he got to know me, he'd kept his chatter to a minimum and I'd been in and out in 20 minutes with a full set and polish. It might take 25 if I were picky about the polish. He was usually running a few minutes late because he'd squeeze in walk-ins if you weren't already stalking him from the waiting room for your appointment, so whether I got their early or waited on his "quick fill" client it would take me maybe 30-40 minutes tops, from arrival to departure.
Then he got to know me. Oh, you are a lesbian? Oh, let me tell you about my sex life!
No, really, don't.
It started taking an hour to do my nails. A solid hour where Ray talked the entire time about his teenage foreign girlfriend who barely spoke English but was living with him, expecting to marry him, not particularly interested in physical intimacy, and addicted to lesbian porn.
What did I think? Oh, Ray, what I think doesn't matter.
Please tell me. Seriously.
Seriously, Ray, you don't want to know.
Oh, that's okay. You'll understand this....
And so it began. Apparently my sexual orientation was enough to put me into some sort of mystical state in which I would be able to dispense advice about the mystery that was his beautiful, new, foreign, frigid, porn addicted, teenage girlfriend.
Sixty minutes turned into 1 1/2 hours. Then two. My wife started calling. Dinner would be over cooked. Could Ray finish up soon? Please
In desperation, I gave him my best advice on the whole thing: "She's a baby dyke." She's more lesbian than she knows and you are not going to have the relationship you hope for because the wiring inside her is not compatible with the hardware outside of you.
My next nail appointment took Ray almost 2 hours to finish, during which he speculated, dithered, and even wept. My nails did get done...more or less...but I never made another appointment.
One thing led to another and I had my nails done by a succession of nail techs, some of which clearly spoke little English beyond "Hello" and "How long?" Which were fine, but I kind of missed the easy familiarity I'd had been Ray prior to being mentally dragged into his bedroom.
And I still wonder what happened. It's a helluva story, this teenage foreign, lesbian girlfriend of Ray the Nail Tech, and I've actually been tempted to stop in and say hello just to see if he'll tell me to sit down and then whisper his secrets conspiratorially to me so that his mother, five feet away at her own booth, won't hear. I just want the end of the story, you know?
As it is, Ray the Nail Tech and his Lesbian Teenage Girlfriend are probably both going to end up in my book, maybe with an ending that I decide...I don't know. I just know that when I draw on real life events, I end up with the richest scenes and characters....and really cool nails.