So I have this idea. And either it's genius or it's racist/classist, plus possibly dangerous and downright immoral. (The best ideas often teeter between such seeming polarities.)
The other day I got stuck at a red light in front of Home Depot, and as I sat there waiting for the light to change, approximately 12 men ran up to my car. Not one to be alarmed by such things, I turned up the radio, because nothing says no thanks like a louder Lady Gaga. Rah rah, ah ah ah, roma roma ma, gaga oh la la. Around the corner there were 20 more guys, another crowd under a thicket of trees, maybe 60 men total. They were everywhere, day laborers wearing baseball caps and work boots in the sun, thumbs hooked through the belt loops on their jeans, waiting. This was at 3pm, and I wondered if these were the guys who didn't get picked that morning for one reason or another. Too slow, too skinny, too little for too many.
How much do they get paid? I asked Bryan when I got home because Google wouldn't tell me in so many words. $10, maybe $15 bucks an hour, he said. Now I am not here to wax Palinthropic on the issue of immigration reform, mainly because I am quite comfortable leaning way to the left while flipping through the latest Us Weekly, but I am all for human rights. And massages. Which is why I wondered why I don't hire one of these guys to give me a massage. Nothing unseemly, mind you. All very above the belt, but a one hour massage for $15? $20 with tip? Who cares that they have (most likely) not graduated from massage school? Or medical school for that matter? Because I also had the idea of hiring a guy once a week as my therapist. Just someone to talk to, nothing prescribed. Me and a day laborer under one of those trees by Home Depot talking about my problems next to the freeway off-ramp like that. $20/hour just for hearing me out.
Other possible uses: someone to make decisions for me (just tell me: yes or no? A thinking person's Magic 8 Ball, outlook not so good), or someone just to hang out with when all my friends are busy but I don't feel like being alone.
Like I said, there is a (slight) chance I might be going to Hell, but you have to know that I realize these men are people. With families, with lives, that maybe there is not enough money in the world to make them go see Step Up in 3D with me, that there is a very real chance they don't want to work out the knots in my shoulders. But in many ways it seems like a win/win. They get paid for their time without having to do any back-breaking labor, and I get a massage that I could almost afford right now.