Mostrando las entradas con la etiqueta medicine. Mostrar todas las entradas
Mostrando las entradas con la etiqueta medicine. Mostrar todas las entradas

sábado, 28 de noviembre de 2015

Sock Empire

   The place only sold socks. They were everywhere and in every single color you could imagine. It was very nice to see rows and rows of different tones and drawings on them. Special socks for Christmas, for Halloween, for Thanksgiving, for Valentine’s Day, for Easter and even for New Year’s Eve. Every employee knew where everything was and how socks were made and could help a costumer find anything they wanted in a matter of a few minutes. There was a reason why the store was called the Sock Empire.

 The Empire was also divided into types of socks, not only color, and between those made for men, for women and for children. Ruben Rostenkowski had been the creator of the Empire and many of his competitors admired him for his amazing take into the world of footwear. People had been focusing so much on the foot for so long, that it was refreshing that one store could focus its whole attention solely to socks and all the types that existed.

 No one knew how Ruben had come up with the idea but they were envious he had had it. Everyone in the city knew he made millions of dollars every year and only from the main store. He had stores in other states but they were not as extravagant and amazing as the one in his hometown of Cleveland. He had been born there over sixty years ago and, although he had lived and worked in other parts of the country when he was younger, he decided to go back to his home in order to make his dream come true.

 Back then, Ruben was just a young boy, not really a full adult. He was still shooting cans with his air rifle and drinking the content of those cans with his group of friends. He had gone to school to study medicine but the truth was that Ruben was the lousiest student ever. He attended only half of his classes and the rest of the time he just spend it with girls and drinking. For all that, he wasn’t apparently as childish. After all, he was twenty-five years old.

Many thought that a man that owned such a store dedicated only to the foot had to be some sort of fetishist. And they were right. Ruben found that out in college, as he met lots of beautiful and not so beautiful young women. The first thing he did every time, as a form of foreplay, was to massage the girl’s feet. He would do it in such a professional manner; the girls never really realized he was so into it. To be honest, he was obsessed with it as he detailed every foot he saw, the curves and the skin and the complexity of it all. He was very obsessed.

 In class, he would suffer sometimes when a fellow student decided to remove her shoes beneath the desk. He instantly wanted to touch the foot and have it for his own but then he remembered he was in class and he couldn’t risk shaming himself even more than he already did when getting drunk. So he learned to breath deeply and just think about something else, maybe even count backwards in order to relax his mind and get any ideas out of it.

 It worked, sometimes. Other times, he would just ask the girl out and massage her feet as soon as he was able. He decided, and that a very healthy choice from him, to visit a shrink. He was sure a person with enough experience in these things would be able to help him stop his obsession and live a healthy life.

 However, it was a surprise when the psychologist told him it was pretty normal to have a fetish. He told Ruben most people had one, whether they realized it or not. Maybe it was a hair fetish, or maybe a “tall” fetish or maybe even weirder stuff like liking sex in costumes or always in public spaces. The point was, and the doctor repeated it constantly, that it wasn’t a disease and it wasn’t something bad as long as he learned to control it and not the other way around. So he advised him to get a hobby with which he could control the thoughts he had.

 It was difficult to find the right hobby, though. Ruben had never been really good at sports. Actually he sex appeal didn’t come from his body at all but from the way he spoke to women and how they responded to his voice and careful and intriguing demeanor. Anyhow, he still tried to play softball, rugby and gold but he failed miserably at all of them and it was then when he noticed he had started looking at men’s feet and he hadn’t even realized.

 Now he was really worried because in his mind he thought that his obsession had made him gay. But after calming down and watching a pornographic movie, he realized he was not interested in men, at all. Only their feet. So it was in that moment when the idea of the Empire first came to his mind: he thought that if his obsession was to be put to good use the best thing to do was something with feet.

 He looked everywhere and finally found a small workshop where people could go and learn how to make shoes. Of course, it was more about seeing the process than doing it because the materials were not all that easy to find and the idea was to attract people into the footwear business. There were just a few sessions but he became obsessed about shoes now and started reading all there was to now about the history of shoes and also about the making of shoes.

 As far as Ruben’s parents were concerned, they were happy to see him doing his last year of med school. He entered that time when he actually had to help patients and do shifts in a hospital and so on. But he was as lousy in that as he was in class. Besides, he was reading all he could about shoes and started thinking a business dedicated to shoes might be just what his life could be all about. Making them was not that easy but maybe selling would be a lot more interesting. He would see feet every day but he would have under control because it would be his job. Perfect.

 But after months of research, he realized the market was just filled with shoe stores selling the same types of shoes to every single idiot in the United States. He had to be unique and bold.

It was around that time that Ruben met Carly, a student of reflexology. She wasn’t from college but she had attended a rare conference about the subject there and Ruben had instantly fallen in love with her. She took some time to liking him however, but after some weeks they were dating and enjoying each other’s company. They rapidly found out about their mutual interest and engaged in long and detailed talks about the history of the foot and its pressure points.

It was the day Carly took him home for Christmas, when he realized his biggest idea yet. Her grandmother was there, a lovely lady, and she was knitting the socks that were left for Santa to put on the presents. And it was then when he had the idea to dedicate his business, not to shoes, but to socks. He told Carly this over dinner and even her parents thought it was a very funny and smart idea. They had never seen a store that only sold socks.

 The following year was the one. It was hard at first because Ruben had to drop out of college only months before finishing. His parents were devastated and told him not to come back home. He was destroyed by that but moved on thanks to Carly, who traveled with him to Cleveland, finding a nice flat for the both of them. There, Ruben created the logo of his company, the idea, the details of the first store and so on.

 He asked for a loan and with that he set up shop and asked for socks from all around the world. Then, he decided to wait a year and see how it went. If it failed, he had lost a lot of money. If not, it was just the beginning.

 That was the birth of the Sock Empire. The name was made fun of sometimes but he loved it and people loved what he did with the place. He would come into the shop sometimes with Carly in order to visit his workers and shake hands and tell everyone how much he thanked them and how much he loved his sock world.


 Even now, years after his invention, he still massages Carly’s feet before bedtime. And he still looks at all the feet he can on the beach and on his store. After all, he couldn’t stop doing something that gave him his livelihood and so much happiness.

lunes, 27 de julio de 2015

Lily's world

   Medicine tastes awful, at least most of the times. Lily wasn’t just going to drink it and she made sure her mother realized this very late at night. Lily would not go wouldn’t go to bed without her mother reading a story and she had decided that was the best time to make Lily drink a new medicine. Wrong. All wrong, Lily thought, because ruining story time was for her one of the worst things any of her parents could do to her. Granted, they could get violent but the most violent she had seen them was in Christmas when Dad had decided to yell at Sparky, their dog, for “unwrapping” the presents at an earlier time. He yelled at him for several minutes until the dog left the room and wasn’t seen until the next day.

 But Lily wasn’t Sparky and, to be fair, Mom wasn’t yelling. She was just being a mom and who could blame her? Lily understood it was kind of like a job and that they had responsibilities as making her do things she hated, but that was a bit too much. Lily thought that it was time to make her voice heard and she bluntly said no to the medicine. She didn’t even felt sick. She was jus fine but her mother insisted every single night for the remainder of the week and Lily refused every single one of those times. To be honest, Lily was amazed at herself. She was known to be very obedient and a “good girl” most of the time, but she just felt this time her mother had gone too far, she was overdoing the whole mother thing and that was not acceptable, not for Lily.

 Of course, she told this to her mother who looked at her and smiled. Yes, she smiled. Lily was equally as surprised. It didn’t make sense that a parent smiled when their children misbehaved. But there she was, her mom just smiling and almost laughing. The most offensive thing happened the next morning during breakfast when Mom told Dad about the incident. Dad laughed louder and grabbed his sides because they hurt of so much laughter. It was so unbearable to see, Lily just wanted to get on her bus to school and get it going with numbers and historical characters and all that. She’d rather have that than her crazy parents back home. It was even weirder because a laugh hadn’t been heard at home for quite some time.

 In school, Lily told her best friend Anne about what had happened. Anne was fast, which Lily liked, and told her parents had times when they behaved like that. They just went crazy for a few hours and then they returned to whatever they were doing or thinking before. According to Anne, this behavior was natural when people grew as old as their parents were. Just imagine living up to forty years old! It wasn’t an easy thing, or at least that’s what Anne thought. After their discussion about parents, they had a nice lunch together, sharing what each one had brought from home. Anne ate Lily’s ham sandwich and Lily took Anne’s carrot cupcake. She liked doing that every day.

 Back at home, Lily realized Anne had been correct: her mother was behaving normally, busy with her work at home. Her dad wasn’t going to be there for a few hours so it was safe for her to assume that he was normal again too. She smiled at the thought of it and realized that maybe her parents had still some child like feelings inside. She thought that forty years was a long time but maybe in all that time, they still remembered how it was when they were smaller. It had been grandma who explained to her that her parents hadn’t been adults all the time and than they had been kids like her one day. Her mother had shown her pictures and it was amazing how similar the girl in the picture was to her.

 At dinner, her parents attacked again. Yes, her dad was normal, not crazy. They told her that taking the medicine would only take some time and after that every single medicine would be barred from the house, never coming back again. She was almost convinced by them but decided at the last minute to stick to her revolution. She told them that she was tired of drinking all those medicines and that she had just had it. She didn’t want to keep feeling that awful taste in her mouth every time she went to bed. She told them that she just wanted to be like Anne, who hadn’t taken any medicine in years and who never went to the doctor. She was just tired of it all and wanted to be just a normal girl, like any other.

 She had won the round. Her parents changed the subject to something about the house, something with bills or who knows, so he tuned out after that.  What was worth mentioning was the fact that apparently her decision had been respected and that she had done something for herself. And that felt great. She felt like all those girls in the movies or in TV that just stand up for what they think and like. She felt really good and told Anne the following day. Anne was very happy for her and told her that her mom said that every girl needed to stand up for herself, especially against men. Anne’s mom had divorced her husband recently. But the girls didn’t understood about that but they did understand what she said.

 They decided to recruit other girls and form the first Young Girls Alliance against every single thing that was done against them. Basically, whenever they got reunited, whereas it was in school or outside, they would discuss ways to persuade their parents not to make them do things they didn’t want them to do. Even a boy, Roger, wanted to come into the group but they told him it was only for girls but that if they decided to accept boys they would tell him right away. He smiled at this and left. Essentially, it was all about not been forced to eat broccoli, visit people that they considered gross  o do things that no one ever wanted to do like cleaning their bedrooms.

 Word got to a teacher, apparently because someone had betrayed the Alliance, and then several parents were called to the school. The girls thought they would all be suspended from school to something but nothing as bad ever came to happen. Their parents had been in the school, talking to Mrs. Steele who was the headmistress, but apparently things were not as bad as they thought. If anything, things had become a little more enjoyable, both at home and in school. At home, Mom and Dad were always smiling and playing and just having a nice time, like never before. And it school, every single adult had been infected with the “smiley” virus. It was amazing to se it all around them, never stopping. Maybe they really had been successful in changing things for girls all around, maybe the Alliance was just what the world needed.

 But that thought didn’t last much longer. One day, in the middle of their break, a woman came for Roger and took him away. This was very odd as Jason’s parents, like Anne’s were divorced. But what was very weirder was that his mother had never come to leave him in school or pick him up. Actually, Lily did not recall having never seen her and she had known Roger for quite some time. He had been the only boy she had ever liked as a friend, as he was polite and clean, not like all the others. He was almost like a girl, which was the way things should be in a perfect world, at least according to Lily.

 She told what had happened at school to her parents and they didn’t seem surprised but their smiles were absent during dinner. It was of particular note that it was one of the few days she had received so many kisses before bedtime and from both of her parents. Both of them tucked her in and told her how much they loved her and how much they wanted her to be the best girl ever. They told her that they were very proud of her and her convictions and they encouraged her to be the best Lily she could ever be. It was a very strange thing but the truth was that Lily loved it. And she did because he loved her quirky parents, always saying and doing weird things that she may never understand.

 Roger never came back to school and it was a very hot topic during the morning break and lunch, at least for a week. Then, everyone stopped speaking about it. It was sad she would never see Roger again but maybe he was going to be happy in his new school, as she was sure his mom would put him in another school. It was strange, but that whole thing and the war about her medicine made her think a lot. She realized that parents were strange but not only them but all the rest of the adults and the world too. She discussed at length with Anne, who thought parents were just doing what they knew how to do and that’s why they were parents.


 Lily went on with her Alliance, advising girls in every single kind of problem or inconvenience. She knew that they all needed help for something or other and she wanted to be there to help. Maybe that was what she was going to do wen she became an adult. But thinking about it scared her and made her feel sick, so she decided to be the best girl she could. There would be another time to be a grown up but, for now, it was best if they just talked with Anne about those singing boys on TV.