I love my CNA. Her name is Yasmin Torres-Flores. She’s 28, came here from Acapulco when she was 18 and started CNAing. She’s great. She gets to my place every morning before I get out of bed and gives me a massage, starting with my feet. It’s a terrific way to start the day, especially since I usually wake up with intense cramps in my feet and calves.
She’s got some quirks though. She’ll be massaging along, I’m absorbed in deep relaxation, and then suddenly she’ll stop. There’ll be a pause, and then she’ll start picking at something on my leg with her fingernail. After a while I got on her case about it. “Hey Yasmin, that really interrupts my bliss, yo. I’m all like, What’s wrong?! What’s ON me!?”
Another time she was massaging along and she stops and she goes, “Mr. Mark, the floorboards right here are really loose. Right here where I’m standing.” I’m lying on my stomach with my face in the pillow thinking, WTF? Does she want me to get up and try to fix it? Thing is, I checked it out later and I did not find any loose floorboards.
She’s fond of making bold declarations like that, especially when they have no basis in reality. She’s brushing my teeth the other day and she goes, “Mr. Mark, you have strep throat.” I almost shot toothpaste out my nose, but I let her continue. “It’s red, and there’s some white parts. My son had this. You should make a doctors appointment. You want me to make the appointment?” I said, “No Yasmin, because I don’t have strep throat.” I didn’t either. No soreness, nothing. My wife checked it out later and confirmed that my throat looked fine.
Just this week Yasmin told me I had a bee sting on my leg. “Yeah, it’s all swollen and infected.” Needless to say I did not have a bee sting on my leg. The thought of not noticing that you had been stung by a bee made me laugh. I did feel some itching though. That’s because it was a mosquito bite.
Speaking of mosquitoes, she came in from taking out the compost the other day and she said, “Mr. Mark just so you know, there’s a swarm of huge mosquitoes around the compost bin. They are like an inch long, so watch out they don’t sting you.” There were indeed a lot of mosquito hawks out there. I couldn’t believe she didn’t know what those were though. I’ll admit, giant stinging mosquitoes, way cooler.
Thanks to Yasmin I get a shower every morning. I get a good scrub from top to bottom. When she first started she would say this thing, right before she washed my ass. She would say: “I’m going in!” After a few times I said to her, “Hey Yasmin, do me a favor. Could you not say that? All I can think of is that scene at the end of Star Wars where Luke Skywalker shoots the torpedo down the little hole, you know? That’s no way to start my morning.” She thought that was pretty funny. She stopped saying it, but she still says it sometimes, just for laughs.
One of Yasmin’s key duties is wiping my ass. When I get done taking a shit I call to her. She comes in and says, “Success? Good!” As she is wiping she will say something like, “Oh, good amount today.”
The other day I said to her, “Yasmin, let’s keep this on a need to know basis, okay? Unless you see like, blood or tentacles or something, I don’t really need to know.” She goes, “But it’s for your health, Mr. Mark. It’s healthy to know. Sometimes when you go you feel like something came out, but nothing came out.” [Face palm] Love that gal.
I’m having a lot of fun at her expense, but I really do love her. She works so hard, so attentively, and without complaint. She doesn’t hit me with a lot of chit-chat first thing in the morning, which I appreciate. When I mention something that happened she always responds with a question or a comment, and never tries to switch the focus back to herself with a related story about something that happened to her. She always tries to anticipate my needs, and often goes above and beyond what is required of her: going overtime running an errand for me, babysitting my daughter on her day off, even buying me lunch when I occasionally don’t have anything prepared. Of course I pay her back, but she doesn’t ask me to. Most impressive of all, she always seems to be in good spirits, and never brings her bad day into my house unless I ask about it. She certainly did not pick up these qualities in this culture, and I am amazed and full of admiration that she still has them after all these years, and the hardships she has endured as an immigrant.
Yasmin is one of my favorite people.