When I arrive, Eva’s street smells like caldo de cubito. Someone’s going to throw a handful of skinny little yummy noodles and make a plate of soup. Upstairs with her adorable Afro pony tail, Eva gets right to the point: my left foot. She works me over gently, firmly, and I put myself in her hands. I trust Eva, I can walk again, and she has great taste in music. Jazz. Diana Krall, Madeleine Peyroux, Cecile McLorin. Eva is my healer. If it weren’t for her, my OCD, OTT, ridiculous personality might have taken my foot to the cleaner’s! I’m hyper and driven to finish whatever I start, the schlepping took its toll.
Ignore a problem and you pay!
Habits can turn chronic!
On the way home from Eva’s, because of the subway strike, there’s a crowd at the bus stop and NO BUS! I take out my cherished old red leather purse that was my mother’s, and I count out some change for the beautiful proud woman beggar, but just then the bus comes and I hobble on it fast. I arrive home and stop off to buy cookies for Gloria, my cookie-monster student. It’s a good thing, Montse, the pastry shop owner, is my friend. I’m digging and scraping but I can’t find that purse! I empty my bags, all my stuff— on her counter. I rush home to think. But who can think? I try. I see it all as clear as day. There I am, guard down, stoned on acupuncture and trying not to look off-balance at the bus stop. Whoever it was on the Bus 54 that nabbed me, nailed me in the street. The perfect words shoot out of my mouth at home. I speak to the cabron in English and I feel lucky!
“You didn’t get my foot!”