The Perfect Odd Couple

One of my favorite times of the day is when I get home in the evening and Derek and I get to tell each other stories from our day.  Derek is a licensed massage therapist and he works several days a week at a local time share resort.  He works in a pool side cabana where resort guests can come directly from the pool to massage table.  He has a lot of fun with the job and he is never lacking in great stories.  He told me this story the other night and I thought you might like it.

Derek was taking a lunch break when he received a text that he had a 3:00 appointment with Bob at the cabana.  He headed back from his break to set up for the appointment when he saw two people standing in front of the cabana, one wearing dark glasses and holding the shoulders of the other person.  As he approached them the man in front introduced himself as Adam and he explained that Bob was standing behind him and he was blind.

Now this is how Derek described Adam, if you saw him in a dark alley, you would probably walk the other way. Adam was about 30 years old but his face was badly wrinkled from a lifetime of smoking, he was covered in tattoos (including permanent tear drops down his cheeks) and he didn’t have any teeth.  It seemed to Derek that life had not been easy for Adam, but even with that said he did help complete Bob’s paperwork and helped get him situated on the massage table before heading over to the lake to go jet skiing for the first time.  

From the table Bob explained to Derek that he had a hereditary degenerative disease that had taken his eyesight about 10 years earlier and was continuing to shut down other parts of his body as well.  Derek described him as a thin layer of skin over a skeleton.  There wasn’t much of him left but he got massages whenever he could because human touch was one of the only things left that gave him comfort.  When Derek asked him if the rest of his family was traveling with him, Bob explained that he owned a very large bussing company up in Massachusetts and that the rest of his family wasn’t able to travel with him any longer because they were running the company.  He couldn’t stand the thought of not using his time shares so even though he preferred the company of his wife, he enjoyed traveling with his employee Adam.  

At the end of the massage, Adam came back from the lake with the biggest smile you can have without any teeth and helped Derek get Bob off the table and into a chair. While the two of them walked over to the cashier, Adam told Derek that Bob’s family refused to travel with him because he was too much trouble, but that Bob had always taken care of Adam and that he would always take care of Bob.  Adam told Derek that he had been to places all over the country with Bob and seen and done things that he had never thought possible. 

When the two of them got back to the cabana, Adam stood in position so that Bob could put his hands on his shoulders to be lead back to their vacation villa.   As he was leaving Bob told Derek that he had worked his whole life to get everything he thought he wanted, at the expense of everything he had, including his health, and in the end it turned out that all he really needed was a friend. 

It is amazing to me how clearly a blind man can see.


Mark Ramey