Today I finally went to get a massage. Scott gave me a gift certificate (almost a year ago) for a day at a spa and at long last I scheduled it and went.
Every time I get a full body massage, I come back to one thought: If I could get one of these every week, my life would be transformed. I don't care about having a boatload of money or fame or a mansion or trips around the world. I just want a weekly massage. But still, I only go about once a year.
My appointment was at 2:00. I put on the satiny robe and the black rubbery sandals ("Candy! You look simply rubbery today!) that went slapslapslap as I walked across the Italian tile floor.
For the next hour, Christina, an angel from a far corner of heaven, worked my muscles with her angelic hands. Little golden harps burst out of her hands, so angelic were they. I could feel the stress stubbornly marching out of my body, resentfully carrying its duffel bag of rage grenades, now defused.
Here is a sample of what went through my head during the massage:I remember now. I LIVE inside this body. It's like a case for my brain and my thoughts and my freak-outs and my memories...pheasant under glass. My body is the glass and my brain is the pheasant. Dude.
I'm so limp. Deadweight. I'm dead. She's putting that oil on me in some ancient burial ritual. I'm going into a pyramid. She's going to friggin' swaddle me and put me in a pyramid...
How could a hand massage be so amazing? I don't remember this. My hand has fireworks melting inside it. No! OUTside. Fireworks are running down my wrist. I have to try this on Scott. Pay attention. Pay attention. Remember what she's doing. I can't. I can't pay attention. I'm Smuckers. I'm jelly in a jar. I'm like a jello mold that someone took the mold off of before it set. I'm a pool of lime jello with carrot bits.
WHY don't people talk more about their feet? I cannot believe it. All those pressure points in the bottom of our feet are like buttons that open little doors to other worlds. Why isn't anyone talking about this? Why aren't people getting up out of their cubicles and stopping their cars to get out and talk about FEET?
And it went on like this. Because stress, when it is approached like the big sticky, watermelon-sized grenade that it is, and cut up into bits smaller than the end of a toothpick, frees your brain up. You can stop thinking just for a blip about the what ifs. It is sad that this mode of thought is so foreign that it feels like another galaxy.
After the massage, I went out to the pool and was thrilled to see I was the only one there. It was a small pool, only 4 feet deep, with a jacuzzi next to it. For the next hour, I floated around on a giant raft that took up about a quarter of the pool. I was in massive relaxation mode. The sun was my friend. The water was my friend. The blue of the sky was my friend. The little waterfall at the end of the pool was my very best
friend. Each time my blow-up barge drifted over there, and the waterfall splashed onto my feet, I thought "Oh no, little waterfall! Don't do that
I decided to try the jacuzzi. As a rule, I do not like jacuzzis. They are always too hot, and there are mutated things growing in them that can make you sicker than if you ate a spoiled mayo sandwich and washed it down with a malaria smoothie. I hung my legs down into the bubbling, frothing water. Yes. Too hot. Or almost too hot. I stood in the jacuzzi. I was feeling confident. Maybe I could take this much heat. I would playfully walk across
the jacuzzi and test out my tolerance for the hot water.
It had been a long time since I'd been in a jacuzzi. I forgot there was a farging DEEP part in the middle. Picture a cartoon woman walking over a manhole without the manhole cover. Down I went, water-too-hot or not. I burst up and hacked like a cat and thanked God that I was the only person in the pool area.
But because I had had a massage
, I didn't really care. I still felt warm and peaceful and loose like a very cooked noodle. Cooked even more from the pasta water jacuzzi.
I drove home in a daze, listening to Pat Metheny. I ate the fancy granola bar provided by the spa. I knew I would be worthless when I got home, good for nothing. De-stressing me is like throwing a fish up onto a dock. There it is, mouthbreathing and lost and stunned, asking Where is that substance I normally live in?
Just for tonight, I'll live in the gentle scent of black cherry and almond oil on my grateful skin, which is covering my grateful muscles. Tomorrow I fall off the dock, back into the water.