Tuesday, April 23, 2013

The Massage

Lois knew something was wrong as soon as the masseuse told her she was a doctor of Chinese medicine.

"I'm really good at what I do," said the masseuse as she slung burning hot towels on Lois' back and calves.

Lois grimaced into the head rest. She could feel the spit starting to pool at the corner of her mouth.

The masseuse took her hand and Lois immediately tensed up. "Relax," barked the masseuse. Lois did as she was told.

The towel, which was starting to feel uncomfortably wet, slithered off her back onto the floor.

"Oopsy!" said the masseuse, "this is easier when you're lying down." She whipped the towel on Lois' back. Her knees, in crouching position on the chair, quivered for a second.

After the masseuse had finished tugging Lois' fingers, she moved to her back and started to grind at the base of her neck.

"Oh, you are carrying the weight of the world on your shoulders," she chuckled. Lois started to nod "uh, yeah…" until the masseuse interrupted: "Don't move! It will disturb your chakra." Lois' face was pushed deeper into the head rest, the top of her nose rubbed against it. Lois started to panic. She knew her sensitive nose would likely sprout a pimple. But she resolved to stay absolutely still and relaxed. She tensed her neck.

The masseuse took her arm ("limp!" she commanded, and Lois obeyed) and pulled it behind her back. Gaaaawwwdddaaammmnnittttt Lois repeated over and over as the masseuse shook her body back and forth.

The sound of synthesized waves played over a Spanish guitar track.

The cramped room smelled of the $5 vanilla lotion you can get at Home Sense.

Suddenly the masseuse lifted up Lois' shirt. Ok, this is happening, thought Lois. Still, she did not move a muscle. Relax, she commanded herself. You are relaxing.

The masseuse spread oil over her back and pinched her muscles hard. Gaaawwwwddddaaaammmmnnniiiitttt, she thought.

Then it was on to the neck and shoulders. The masseuse dug her elbows and then her knuckles as deep as Lois' muscles would let her. And still, Lois did not move a muscle.

She felt her shirt rise up again and a hot surface pressed down hard on her back. What the fuck is this witchcraft? she thought. And still, she did not move a muscle.

When the masseuse finished, Lois sat still in the chair, her limbs tense with anticipation. She could feel the beginning of a pimple forming at the top of her nose but she was too afraid to move her head, for fear of retribution.



The hard, wide stick kept hitting Lois from the base of her neck to the bottom of her spine. WHACK WHACK WHACK. Still, Lois did not move a muscle.

"Ok, we're all done!" the masseuse chirped.

Lois sat up the chair, bleary-eyed and confused.

"Thank you," she stammered.

Lois tilted her head side-to-side and stretched her back. I'm going to feel this tomorrow, she thought.

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