January 13, 2009
“This is Caitlin, the grand-daughter of the Pastor. Her father is one of the greatest physical therapists in the United States, and she would like to come learn some from you.” With that, Doctora Graça shuts the door behind me. With an embarrassed gulp, I slip in alongside the massage table across from the chiropractor / masseuse.
His head doesn’t even come to my shoulders and he grins up at me with bright eyes as his knarly hands work steadily along the spine of the man on the table. The middle fingers on each of his hand are permanently torqued inward, proudly he holds one out for me to see, a mark of the profession, I guess. The muscled energy of his body is encased old leathered skin the color of dark walnut heartwood, and creased more than an old glove.
His deft fingers read the muscles of a body like the fingers of the blind read Braille. Amused by his facial expressions and intrigued with his hands, my eyes try to observe both at the same time. The body on the table grunts a little as his fingers dig deeper into a spot near the shoulder, “Doi! Doi!” (pain) He mouths to me with delighted eyes as he points to the spot. With instinctive skill he loosens the spot to allow for better range of motion.
“Is it better?” The pain left, the patient replies, and he grins victoriously.
ON THE ROAD AGAIN
9 months ago