Breathe Deep

She warned me, "this massage is going to hurt."  It is going to dig into memories and rework muscles locked in forgotten dreams.  She rubbed her hands together and said, "Okay, here goes."

The masseuse has surfed a flood of pain in her personal life which she shares as she elbows into my back.   As she digs in, she recounts a marriage of violence that ended when she reached for a knife that slipped into her own foot, saving her from doing something  as awful as she had endured. I really didn’t need to know all the details as she pressed into my spine.   I guess it was part of her process in exorcising the devil buried deep in the deep tissue.

I have had massages on the beach in Thailand – and remember looking out thinking, this is almost as nice as Martha’s Vineyard.  I have been walked on in China and Japan and pummeled in Germany.   I have had really loud Dylan massages in Manhattan Beach from my dear friend Heather.  I have looked down through the headrest at nurse’s whites, at naked soles, and bad pedicures.  I have woken up from a jet lagged stupor to old Russian breasts pulled out like old doormat in what was posing as a massage on East 10th St.   I have had a shoulder rub in the first class cabin on Virgin  (go for the manicure).   I have been rubbed by the blind man in Hollywood.  I have been talked into chair massages on street corners.   I have been told this is good for you.   I have been told to breathe deep.   I have been told, “drinks lots of water.”  I have been told you might be sore tomorrow.   I have fallen asleep and  dreamt softly.   I have tried channeling hands to my scalp, to my feet, under my scapula.   I have always tipped well even when it wasn’t worth it.

The funny thing about massages, is that you know in the first 30 seconds what you are in for.  I have never been wrong.   If the first minute is bad, it is all bad.  If the first touch is magic – you are generally in for a great ride.