Every other Friday I have a one hour appointment with Troy Mandala — a pseudonym for purposes of anonymity — so he can practice medical Chi Gong on me. I have been with Troy for a while now, ever since my previous healer moved to Atlanta and her replacement ran afoul of one too many radar guns in a short period of time and got his drivers license revoked.
For the uninitiated, medical Chi Gong is, in my uneducated in the ways of Traditional Chinese Medicine opinion, like acupuncture times a thousand in terms of energy movement through one’s body. The hour goes by in moments and I always leave our sessions feeling refreshed, re-energized, and completely rejuvenated.
In more than six months of bi-weekly visits, the most we ever talked about — and by talking I mean him speaking and me nodding my head and smiling — was the weather, the Giants, and the 49ers. But that all changed today about five minutes into my treatment.
Troy was just beginning to remove some energy from the area around my chest and stomach when he heard the front door of the office open. Since we were in a private room approximately twenty feet away, he stopped moving his hands and arms for a moment in order to see exactly who had entered his studio. The door closed seconds later and he continued clearing the energy off of me.
I looked at him and with my eyes I asked him who that was and said that it was just his ex-wife dropping something off for him.
What happened next was completely unprecedented in our shared experience together and totally out of character based on what my preconceived notion of what I envisioned from a master of the learned art of medical Chi Gong. It was also the most riveting and compelling fifteen minute calm and in-control diatribes and rants I have ever been witness to in my life.
He began with statistics citing that 50% of marriages in this country end in divorce. The odds are the same if you flip a coin. In my head I tried to calculate the probability if a person was married four times. Before I could finish the math, I found myself grunting in approval.
Then Troy told me a story about the Unification Church and how its founder Sun Myung Moon would gather his followers — aka Moonies — and line up boy-girl boy-girl on the field of some stadium. He then instructed them to face one another and proceeded to marry each of the couples in a mass ceremony minutes later. Studies showed that the divorce rate amongst those couples to be at a mere 30%. I wanted to chime in with a litany of counterpoints but found myself grunting politely instead.
He then launched into a discussion about if a woman wants to be Queen for the Day then she should just purchase an expensive dress, hire a limousine, rent a hall, and invite all of her friends for the party of their lives. There is no need to drag some poor guy into it if she plans on ruining his life eventually anyway. I grunted my best tell me more grunt.
Then he speculated that if he could play God for a while that he would make it that both people in a relationship have to be emotionally and mentally mature before they can have children. He stated with a smile that as a result of his heavenly edict that humans would most likely become an endangered species of about five. Smiling profusely, I grunted not once but twice. Loosely translated, it meant please keep going, please keep going.
Feeling the energy and enthusiasm emanating from the crowd of one, he proposed that marriages should have a five year term limit on them. At that point in time, both parties would have the option to renew the marriage contract for an additional five years. If one of the persons decides that the union is not living up to the agreed upon specifications, simply put, it’s over. Speechless grunting from the delegate from San Carlos.
He then said that there should be a law on the books which requires the adult recipient of child support to disclose exactly what that money is spent on. I gave him a series of grunts that I hoped conveyed an I feel your pain vibe.
He concluded on the following note: While sometimes things seem to work out for people in married relationships but if it doesn’t pan out, one can always become a philosopher.
And just like that it was over. He didn’t speak for the balance of the session except to sheepishly say sorry for laying that on all me. I just looked hhim in the eyes and grunted it’s okay.
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