I SAID, I’M REA— Whoop, there you are! Didn’t hear you come in. That little fountain thingy is quite a noise canceller. I couldn’t remember if you said to start face down, but— That is what you said? Great, great. Looks like my brain doesn’t need a massage, huh? Although if you could rub my head at some point that would be super. Really? That’s a normal part of it? Great, great.
I know you said that I could strip down all the way, but, as you can see, I didn’t. It just seems, I don’t know, forward? I mean, I get that there’s an intimacy to this—not “intimacy” like something inappropriate, just, you know, the fact that we only met, what, forty-five seconds ago, and you’re about to rub my whole body. That’s just what it is. And I’m fine with that. That’s why I’m here. I got the gift certificate from work, and you guys wouldn’t let me exchange it for cash, so I said, “Screw it. It is time to see what this massage thing is all about.” But is it not fair to say that if I’m not relaxed this whole thing is pointless? Exactly. That’s what I thought. So that’s why I decided to keep my boxers on. And also my socks.
Good call starting me on my stomach. I’ve been told that I hold my tension in my lats. Don’t know if you could sense that—I imagine people in your profession are very empathic. Empathetic. Empathic? Empathetic? Empathic?
Face down is just the standard way to start? Great, great. Standard is great.
So am I supposed to be breathing in a particular way right now? ’Cause I’m trying to breathe in time with your movements, but I don’t know if that’s helping or— O.K., I’ll just breathe normally.
I like your sneakers. I’m looking at them through the hole in this head-doughnut thing, and they’re very cool. Does the spa give them to you? No? Well, I guess with what these massages cost, you can get all the sneakers you want. Really? The spa takes that much? Looks like you and me are in the wrong business!
Ow ow ow ow ow!
Anyway, they look very comfortable.
I know, I’m still breathing with your movements. But it felt like it helped that time. I’ll stop.
Mmmmwuhhh! O.K., that was a weird sound. It’s just, no one’s ever done that to my shoulder before. It’s, like, you’re taking it apart and putting it back together again, but from the outside, just by squeezing it … and I basically just described a massage. I can’t imagine how much stupid stuff you must hear in a day, but that’s got to be up there.
Most people just lie here quietly? Great, great. Wasn’t sure. Didn’t want you to think that I was ignoring you.
Oh my god, you’re going to do the exact same thing to the other shoulder? Awesome. I’m just gonna lie here quietly and enjoy it….
Um, I think you forgot the rotation thing. The thing where you stretch out my arm and then kind of tuck it up and under. You did it on the other side.
Well, you can say that you were “getting to that,” but it was the second thing you did on the first arm, so—
Ow ow ow ow ow!
No, the lady at the desk said that I might be sore tomorrow, not during, but—HELLO!
I haven’t been able to bend my arm like this since I don’t even know when. Wow! Whatever you’re doing, keep going!
Heading over to the back, I see. Good luck. Or whatever you would say in your native language.
I just assumed that English wasn’t your native language.
It is? Huh. No, I have no idea why I would have guessed that it wasn’t. So … I think you were, um, about to do my back?
There. What did I tell you? That lat’s like a tense slab of beef, right? Hey, as long as you’re there, do you mind checking out that mole under my left shoulder blade? No, it’s a little lower. Here, I’ll show you. Holy crap, check me out! I can get my finger right on it! Anyway, would you call this an “asymmetrical border”? My dermatologist is always, like, “Don’t worry about it,” but I’m starting to think that if he can’t shoot Botox in it, he just doesn’t—
Hmm? Nope, I’m not tired at all.
O.K., you can just skip my, um, gluteal area. My butt. You don’t have to do my butt. No, I understand that you’re fine with it, and thank you for saying that, but, to be honest, I’m not feeling very … confident. I mean, I try to stay in shape—hopefully you can tell that, even though you haven’t mentioned anything, probably because you pride yourself on your discretion—but I’m thinking about all the other butts that have been on this table, and I’m imagining that they were all rounder and firmer than mine. Even though I box twice a week. Cardio boxing. No contact, but there are very authentic punching movements.
That’s sweet, and I swear I wasn’t fishing for a compliment, but really? My butt is “better than a lot”? That sounds like the top one per cent. That’s pretty amazing. I guess you can massage it a little. You know, over the boxers.
Woof, I’ll bet it must suck when you get a flat-butt fatty on here, huh? It must. Turn over? Oh, yeah, baby, I’ve heard about this kind of massage.…
Was that over the line? I’m so sorry. Like I said, this is my first massage, and I don’t know where the line is.
Well, clearly it’s not “obvious”—
Ow ow ow ow ow!
Can I, uh, turn over now? Great, great.
Yes, I’m very relaxed. No, I’m definitely not holding in my stomach. That’s just the way it looks—naturally, aggressively flexed. I’m telling you, you should try this cardio boxing.
Mmm, now this feels nice. I must say, you are almost making me rethink the socks….
Buh? Did I fall asleep? Wow, you are amazing. It’s like your hands cast a magic spell … that makes me stop holding in my stomach. So, yeah, that’s what it looks like in its normal state. Still, probably “better than a lot,” right?
Could you not hear me over the fountain thingy?
Oh, I didn’t realize that the massage was over. Well, thank you. That was incredible. You truly honored your ancestors.
I just assumed that your ancestors were also massage therapists.
They weren’t? Huh. No, I have no idea why I would have guessed that they were.
Ow ow ow ow WOW! I thought the massage was over!
Would I like some lemon water? Is it included? Great, great.