In Which I Get A Massage
A few weeks into December, a generous and innovative customer commissioned me to typewrite five short stories to give to their various family members on Christmas day. Being the purist that I am, I decided that all the drafts for these stories should also be crafted on a typewriter. After a week of writing five short stories and their numerous foul drafts on that unforgiving contraption, I felt compelled to unlock my shoulders. They were digging into my jaw and I was beginning to walk funny. Finally! The excuse I’d always wanted to visit the Pfister’s basement… that’s where they keep the WELL spa!
I ordered a 60-minute massage and they gave me a clipboard. Would I like any upgrades? Coconut cream kneaded into my scalp? A longer time for the shower? Deeper pressure? Fifteen extra minutes to just relax in the room by myself afterwards? And did I bring my own iPod or would I like to listen to nature sounds or classical music on the internet radio?
I am a wild animal in human form,
so nature sounds, please.
They demonstrate how to use the shower. It’s a little complicated because it features so many enjoyable options. There is the traditional handheld showerhead on the east wall, or one could bask in a cool mist or dance their way (this shower is large enough to accommodate the dance party of a medium sized family) into the south corner and experience six jets of scalding hot water coming at you from three different directions. I chose that last option and was utterly flustered with relaxation.
I learned from my masseuse that nine out of ten women have kinkeled shoulders like me. The expression is true in that that’s where “we carry the weight of the world.” Men, conversely, tend to strain their backs by holding all the tension in their buttocks. My guess is that many of them are just trying to grip the world from the bottom, but the world is too heavy to be carried real far that way.
Midway through the massage the nature sounds transitioned from a scene of crashing waves on the beach with euphoric seagulls to a bathroom sink sized brook that gurgles and tinkles. I had to ask her to change the station to classical music and let me use the plumbing before continuing. That is my only critique of the experience, aside from the fact that any massage that’s shorter than five and a half hours is way too short.
To make everything even better at the end they offered my choice of a glass of limewater, tea, mimosa or champagne to sip, and I could sit around as long as I wanted, reading magazines and snacking on fruit and nuts. I drank the chamomile.