Tuesday, July 19, 2005

This Is What I Wish For

Last night, I had a massage at this place, which was recommended to me by Grace's fiancee. I injured my shoulder two years ago at work. I was distributing incoming faxes to their intended recipients while reading a fax that had come for me, so I wasn't paying attention to where I was going, but since it was late and I was the only one left in the office, I wasn't too worried about it. Until I walked into Bob's office. He had left a file box on the floor of his office. I tripped over it and fell, and as my head rushed toward the sharp edge of the desk, I instinctively threw out my arm and the full weight of my body was driven right into my shoulder. It was bad. Very bad.

Anyway, ever since then ,I've had a problem with getting a knot in that shoulder that eventually pulls a tight band of pain across my upper back. It's been very bad the last few weeks, probably due to the extremely un-ergodynamic design of my workspace and the stress of trying to persuade Immigration that this extremely shady client is telling the truth in their asylum application (which I don't for a moment believe) while getting chastised for not filing the other eighteen cases that are pending because I keep getting yanked away from my desk for Felix's errands. It's very stressful, even though I like the work and think it's all interesting. So I am ripe for massage. And Finbar is really far away from D.C.

My student therapist was a slightly older man, perhaps in his forties. He was tall and fairly burly and let me tell you, he was not afraid to put that brawn into my back. First, we had a "consultation", where I told him about my shoulders and he asked some questions about other spots. Then he told me to get "undressed to my comfort level". Now, I am not particularly bothered by nudity, although I would never go around flashing people or anything. There are just some situation where some degree of nudity is called for and there's no point in fussing about it. This was a lesson I learned the first time I was cast in a professional stage production. Costume changes took place in cramped backstage quarters with NO privacy. You just got over it. Slip the leotard from act one off, put the leotard and skirt for Act Two on and get yourself in position for your next entrance, toot sweet. So, when the doctor tells me to get undressed, the clothes are gone. Sauna in Finland? Let's not be silly. But as I was standing there half undressed in the room, my mind kept coming back to the consent form for the massage on which I had been informed in capital letters that any sexually inappropriate behavior would result in your being tossed out and banned. Now, there was certainly no sexual intent behind my disrobing, but what if you're not supposed to get undressed all the way and the poor guy thinks I'm, you know... I am not exactly an old hand at this massage thing; I've only had one other professional massage, it was done by a woman and I could not for the life of me remember whether I took off my clothes. So, then I tried to think about people getting massages on T.V. It seems like their upper bodies are usually unclothed with the sheets protecting them from any untoward exposure. I figured if it's good enough for TV, then it's good enough for me and tucked the sheets around me to wait.

It was heaven. He did this thing where he placed his hands firmly over one spot and I don't know exactly how, but after a few moments, I would feel this little pop, and then I could feel a knot release. Then he did my legs and feet, which was amazing. I used to get the occasional foot rub at the ballet school back when I danced, but nothing like this. The very last thing was a rub of my arms back up to my shoulders. I could not believe how much better I felt after that. I was in such a good mood that I didn't even yell at the yuppie jackass who cut in front of me at the Giant when I stopped to get a bottle of water on the way home.

If I lived here permanently, I would be in deep trouble. Like any junkie, I would never get enough of the massage. Grace's fiancee (who needs a blog name; I'm tired of typing "Grace's Fiancee") used to go twice a week when he lived in the area. I would totally not be satisfied with just that. Sunday, I told Hulio that all I really want from life is Finbar, a nice home, a job I don't dread going to, enough money that I don't have to pinch my pennies to pay the bills, a car that runs well and isn't falling apart, and maybe enough for a yearly vacation. Apparently, I was lying because I totally should have included "...and my own personal professionally trained masseuse at my beck and call 24 hours a day" in the list as well.


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