Wednesday, February 08, 2012

The Foot on the Bus

I'm choosing to write about The Foot on the Bus.

Not about how many times I've tried to contact the U.S. Embassy without success.

Not about the terrible, horrible, no-good, very bad (and yet slightly redeemed) week that I had when February began.

No. If I decided to give in and vent and rant and rave, I would release the seething rage I feel every time that snooty operator at the embassy answers the phone and gives me the her cold, curt replies.
I imagine she looks something like this.

Instead, I'm writing about something I've wanted to tell you about for a while now, and that is--there is a foot on my school bus.  Yea... a foot.

Believe me, the curiosity/suspense/confusion you're probably experiencing right now as you ask yourself, "what in the world is she talking about," is surely something like the feelings I felt during the several months I spent riding Bus 8 with Don Marcos (the driver) and Doña It's-been-too-long-for-me-to-ask-you-you're-name-now (the nanny) trying to imagine a reason or a purpose behind The Foot that sits in front of me every day.

Ever since the first day of school, there has been an artificial foot lying on the floor next to the driver's seat.  It's a left foot, and very realistic. Veins and all.  There's even a suspicious red coloration near the cut-off part that would be attached to the calf.  It's got a slight Morton's toe (which I used to call surfer toe, but I googled it and now know right terminology).  It's flesh colored... but more of of gringo color than that of a latino.

At first I didn't think much about The Foot.  It brought up images of those prank feet that you sometimes see hanging out of some jokester's trunk.  No one seemed to pay it any mind--not even the children (which is odd, don't you think?).
But then, I'm not sure when, I really started to believe that that Foot meant something.  I mean, why else would it ALWAYS be there, when other seemingly random items get tossed daily.  Could it be someone's prosthetic foot?

When that thought occurred to me, I tried a few times to get a good look at Don Marcos' left foot.  It wasn't easy from my seat behind the driver, so I'd try to stealthily turn around and sneak a peak while exiting the bus.  His foot seemed fine...  not like a fake-footless stump might look in a shoe.   Then there was one day when I saw him out of the bus, walking around the school, and that was when I was pretty convinced that his left foot was real.

So my suspicion rested, for one day, on the Doña.  Had I ever seen her feet?  I'd never paid attention.   Well, the next day she wore sandals, and two perfectly good feet stuck out of them. Wrong again.

And so, just last week, when I saw that the Doña was in a happier mood than usual, and Don Marcos wasn't paying attention, I just asked it; "Doña, do you know anything about that Foot?"

And after all the wondering and assuming, all the stories and possibilities that ran through my mind on my many tedious trips to and from school, the bus foot mystery came to a boring resolution--it was a gift from his father... a recuerdo.

Now I guess the mystery that remains is... why would his father give him a fake foot?
Here's the proof... I snuck a cellphone picture the other day while
pretending to listen to music.  WHY he chose to buckle up the foot
instead of his seatbelt that day is unknown... but it was a helpful
position to photograph.

Snooty Operator photo is from 

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