Not that Imelda.
This is about one of the hundreds of unimportant Imeldas who were born and named after that Imelda who beguiled the land with her beauty, wardrobe, opulence, and power that spawned epic events.
This less than inconsequential Imelda is my masseuse, whom I visit once or twice a month.
(VIBES stands for Visually Impaired's Brotherhood for Excellent Service.)
This Imelda, who hides her eyes behind huge shades, has healing hands. In the absence of sight, she is a master of touch.
She can feel which part of my spine and right foot ache; she has an uncanny talent for releasing knots. After an hour, my aching toes get a reprieve.
During the hour, we have sporadic chats.
“We are poor,” she said. “My pay helps with our household expenses . . . we had no resources to continue with my schooling.”
“I am a book author,” I replied when asked what I do.
“Oh, wow! I wish I could read your books, but . . .”
“I know,” I whispered, hiding the catch in my throat.
“My mother named me Imelda because the first Lady had everything, and we had nothing. So maybe, if we had the same name, I might . . .” she laughed.
The rates at Vibes Massage are loose change compared to what you pay in a luxurious spa. But the rub down is therapeutic. More than enough reason to leave a well-deserved tip that far exceeds the official rate.
The name Imelda has ceased to conjure, for me, unsavory thoughts. It now evokes all synonyms of honest living and grace.