About five minutes into my massage yesterday, I started wondering if I might actually die of pleasure. About 30 minutes into it, I started to worry that I wouldn’t. I’d have to get up off the table, straggle back into my clothes, and stumble back out into the bright, blinding light and noise of Real Life.
Getting rubbed and kneaded for the better part of an hour was pretty nice. If you’ve never had a professional massage, I highly recommend it. I also recommend being awesome, if you haven’t tried it yet. There is a manual for it. It is a blog called World’s Strongest Librarian.
But this is about a death massage.
After filling out an entire ream of paperwork, I was ushered into a fancy little room with a mural of a snow-capped mountain range on the west wall. The lighting was somewhere between birthday-cake candles and Cinemax film shoot. I got out of my clothes and lay down on the table, which was apparently designed for someone who lived in the 18th century when people were much smaller, probably due to all of the ducking they had to do in those days when the air was full of musket balls.
My masseuse came in and got to it, but not before pushing play on the stereo. A repetitive piano arpeggio began to ooze into my ears that was so serene I almost started slobbering. A while later when I turned onto my stomach, I did start slobbering. I watched the long, glistening filament of saliva stretching towards the floor through the round apparatus my face was stuck in, and I thought, I don’t care. And now it is time for me to leave this world. I focused, squinting, furrowing my brow, willing my spirit out of my body. No dice.
As she worked, she talked:
- “And the toxins will…”
- “And you should…water…weekly…”
And all I could think of was “Shhh…I’m trying to shake off this mortal coil.” I was still alive. I began to panic. The mountain mural was no longer serene. The peaks now looked jagged and menacing. I could feel the freezing snow.
Then she was done and the world came crashing back. I wanted to lash out at someone but I was too limp and lazy. I felt like I had to pour myself back into my clothes. Bones? What are bones? I’m a big tall pile of dough.
Why I went
“Good grief, you are stressed out,” said the Missus one night as I tossed and turned. “Go get a massage or sleep on the roof.”
Besides my devotion to her, and sleeping next to her, I also went because I sit in a chair all day, every day. I do my movement, I get my exercise, and I keep my body well-tuned whenever possible, but the truth is that I spend too much time sitting in chairs built for people who are 2/3 my size. I pick up tension that I carry in my neck, shoulders, back, and jaw. Sometimes I can release it on my own, sometimes I can’t.
And sometimes I’m just so freaking stressed out and rigid that I want someone to massage my troubles away.
It worked. I spent that night, and the better part of this morning, feeling like I had just downed a liter of cough syrup, but I wasn’t drowsy. I was just oiled up, the noise was all turned down, and life is good.
I had to interrupt this post twice to wipe drool off the keyboard.
Any massage fans out there?
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