Friday, January 4, 2013

Thoughts from an artificially warmed massage table ...

1. There is an awkwardness with massages that I haven't encountered since that weird period in my life that included sexual activity, but did not yet include alcohol. Should I take my pants off if we're just going to be working on my upper back? The massager would say: "What ever is most comfortable for you" in which case I would not only take off my pants, I'd put on my pajama pants and robe. Do you get into the bed, do you immediately go face down? Or do you sort of perch on your side, a pose that wordlessly said "Hello, Lover" in the late 1970s. But I'm topless, so it would be the Hello Lover pose with a blanket pulled up to my chin like a lobster bib. Scrambling to face down as the door opens seems  so contrived. Like this whole experience requires a safe word and maybe the massager is wearing a nylon over her face.

2. There is a point of the massage where it is hard to tell what she's doing. She can't just be using her hands because this total coverage seems bigger than that. Yet, it's so directed, so specific that I can't believe she has, like, oiled up her arm to the elbow and incorporated it into the session.

She's waited until I've become completely sedated by the combination of her muscular thumbs and this rainforest soundtrack. My breathing has slowed and now she feels safe pulling up the bottom of her T-shirt up to just below her breastbone, tying it off, and ripping the velcro free on the the freakish rolling pin-shaped appendage, a body part so rare that doctors have no scientific name for beyond "Her Third Arm-ish."

3. My vision is limited to this toilet-seat shaped cushioned face hole my forehead is pressed against, so all I can see are her white Reebok Shape Ups as she orbits my upper body, occasionally stepping out of the frame to apply more scentless lotion to her three arms. (Or, rather, two arms and an arm-ish).

We put a lot of trust into a stranger with extraordinary knowledge of nature soundtracks. If, by pinching the webbing between one's thumb and pointer finger, a headache can be cured; If, by massaging the area in front of one's ear flaps, a jaw ache can be relieved -- what's to say that this stranger won't take her drill-like thumbs, press into a little-known divot and knock me into a soap opera-length coma.

4. Afterward she greets me outside the door with lemon flavored water, but seems uninterested in rehashing what we've been through together. "How you cranked away at my shoulder ..." She nods, like she's distracted.

1 comment:

Sproactually said...

Jeesh, I'm usually at work when i read this stuff...

You left the post massage cigarette part out.

Is it warm in here??