- Since when have you been healing people?
- Since I was a teenager
- And how did you learn?
- I never did. This is the work of God, I'm just the medium...
The 2018 football world cup started. Everybody crammed up in la Guitarra TV room to watch the games. A general feeling of excitement was in the air. During the world cup, even the smallest countries dream of the cup. Fueled by the hopes of millions, the players become fearless. I found my spot and got ready for the game: Mexico vs Germany. Mexico has never made it into the quarter finals. Germany was the current, and four times world champion.
To my surprise, I was the only one rooting for Mexico. Central Americans do not like Mexicans. They see them as arrogant and condescending toward the smaller CA countries. Mexico was the underdog, and everybody was cheering for Germany. But this was the world cup, the most important sporting event in the world and every player's dream. Anything could happen.
The game was intense and against all odds Mexico won, 1-0. Germany was superior in technique and power, yet they lost. The difference was in their attitude. The Mexicans played with heart. They fought for every ball as if their life depended on it. Even against the all-time favourite, they still believed they had a chance. That inspired me, I decided to act like them. Fuck you spectre. I believe in my own luck.
Over the next days, strange things started happening. I was eating a pupusa (a cheese-filled tortilla) when I felt something odd in my mouth. I spat out and saw it, sitting among the bits of cheese... a tooth! And not just any tooth, a molar. My molar had crumbled to pieces, go figure. It seemed too unlikely to be true, worthy of a nightmare. I laughed, cynical and sour. Who loses a tooth to a pupusa... seriously? Despite all the shit that hit me in El Salvador, and minus one tooth, I had to believe I could turn my own luck.
The racist old Dick was also evolving. I'd been avoiding and ignoring him since his hate speech. Yet he kept saluting me, trying his best not to be a racist old dick. I was in my hammock when he stopped by and mumbled “this is for you” handing me a slice of chocolate cake. He might have poisoned it. Skeptical at first, I found the gesture touching. Despite his age and stupidity, the hateful Dick was making efforts to be a better person.
The heat and extreme humidity was turning little tasks into exhausting projects. My hands were always busy with crutches so I carried a backpack to reduce back and forth. After a grocery mission, I reached my hammock and crashed, drained and sweaty. What I would give for a cold beer right now... But the bar was too far. I was fantasizing about it when something cold poked my shoulder. I turned around and saw it, descending from the heavens, an ice cold Pilsner handed to me by Chili Dog, la Guitarra's waiter. The miracle had happened.
The next day, a woman the age of my mom looked at me with insistence. She wore a colourful headscarf. I smiled, then she approached me. The lady mentioned her mom was a healer and she could take a look at my foot. Mmmmh okay! Later on, she returned followed by a tiny, wrinkly stooped woman. She must be older than the first world cup.
The granny sat down next to me, and pointed to put my ankle on her thighs. It's alright, even if she fucks up she's so feeble I won't feel anything. She poured olive oil on her hands and started massaging my ankle. Her tiny hands had a surprising vigour. The total opposite of Jose at the clinic. I whined with pain but she paid no mind, as if absorbed in a trance.
When she finished, Super granny warned me about the upcoming heat rush. She took her daughter's headscarf, tore it in half and wrapped my ankle with it. Then she stood up and walked away. I thanked her but only her daughter reacted. Super granny had checked out.
Strange things were piling up. The underdog beat the champion. The hateful committed acts of kindness. Fantasies materialized. And centenarians were walking around randomly healing youngsters. It all confirmed what I wanted to believe. My luck was turning.
There was something I had been pushing off for a few weeks now. Something that required a lot of hope. If Mexico could beat Germany and Dick could be less of a dick, I too should be able to do it.
Hope is everywhere, you just gotta believe.