Having missed Obama’s inauguration speech this morning, I walked over to 3rd and A this afternoon for MoveOn.org’s inauguration party at the Marin Youth Center, to be an active participant in history.
Upon my arrival, I grabbed a glass of cider at the refreshment table, and sat down on one of the chairs facing the big screen to finally hear Obama’s speech. Only, the sound quality was poor, and no attempt made by the staff to adjust the soundboard, computer, and speakers could fix the problem. Through the treble attacking my ear drums, I could make out random consonents, unable to piece together any sort of meaning of what I wanted to believe was an eloquent speech.
A pony-tailed man in Birkenstocks and a fanny pack, who was standing nearby, uttered to no one and yet everyone at the same time, “Listen to his dialect. Can you hear it? He’s like a wise, Kenyan shaman.”
“I can’t even understand what he’s saying,” I told him.
“You don’t need to understand him,” implored the man. “Just listen to him!”
I left. As I walked home down 4th Street, I decided last minute to treat myself, as a means of coping with my disappointment, to a foot massage at the little foot massage parlor down the flight of stairs by the taquería, called “Foot Massage.”
I chose the cheapest option, the thirty minute foot massage for thirty bucks. It includes a facial massage, neck and shoulders, and then a foot massage that the parlor calls “reflexology.”
I was certain that this would be a relaxing, healing experience, but I was mistaken.
I lay reclined on a comfy chair under a pile of blankets, as soothing instrumentals of Barbara Streisand and Debbie Gibson songs floated in the backround, relaxing to the best o f my ability as my reflexologist tenderized my feet with a hammer.
Visibly frustrated with my involuntary kicks, he handed me a chart consisting of two feet, with a color coded legend that showed the relation between the pressure points on the feet and their corresponding bodily organs. I can only imagine what mess I must be in, if a foot massage hurt this bad.
I yelped, I cried, I squirmed, I pleaded with him to stop, but my attempts at communication were not getting through.
He often spoke to his female colleague in Cantonese, and I have a strong gut feeling that he was talking about me. Yes, I really do think that. I think he was saying, “We got another weak white chick. Watch this, watch her jump!”
I am pretty sure that she said, “Hey, that’s a cool trick, do it again! I can’t believe they pay us for this!”
My reflexologist yelled at me to relax, and then turned to his colleague and said, “I give her an A for effort.”
“Tell her it’s good for her, and she’ll come back,” she giggled.
“I touch you here, and then you do-” he said, in my own language. He flapped his arms.
“I’m sorry, I don’t understand,” I said.
“When you walk home, you-” and he stood and flapped his arms some more, before taking a graceful twirl.
I thought he was trying to tell me that I would feel light on my feet, or that I was going to turn into a chicken.
He flapped some more and twirled again, and I realized that he was saying that we were all going to ride these winds of change.
I sunk back deep in my comfy chair and never felt more relaxed.