Saturday, October 08, 2011

The Pain of Relaxation

Thursday at work, I was invited by Tree to tag along with her and her friend, Elizabeth, to get a massage at the mall. At first I thought I didn't want to go. I was thinking that I couldn't afford it. Not that it cost all that much, I just generally assume that my money can eventually be spent on something more important than something like a massage.

But Thursday was a rough day. By the end of it, I decided, Screw it, I can find $15 dollars. So I went. It was the first and last time I'll go to that place at the mall to get a massage. I obviously had no idea what I was getting into.

Before arriving at this massage place, I was told that I only needed to choose a length of time. I went with 10 minutes, the shortest and cheapest option. It was my first real massage in a long time, so I figured I should just try and take it easy. Let me just say, the last time I had a massage was in the airport on the way back from Brazil in college. This was nothing like that.

It came to be my turn and I was introduced to an older Asian gentlemen. He motioned for me to lie face down on the table and so I did. He then proceeded to beat the ever-loving crap out of me.

During my ten minute massage, I resisted the urge to cry out in agony at least five times. He poked. He prodded. He rearranged my internal organs. At one point he began kneading on my skull as if the bones were actually a flexible mass.

It was an extremely long ten minutes. When I heard the sweet sound of the timer squealing next to my ear, I whispered a quick prayer of thanksgiving to God, knowing that I would never have to go through this again.

As I stood up, I wanted to ask the man what I could have possibly done to anger him so. We had just met and hadn't even had a real conversation. I only told him I wanted the ten minute massage. Maybe that's what angered him, that I was being cheap. I gave him a tip before I left. I didn't want him following me to finish me off if I left him unhappy.

Apparently I received a deep tissue massage, rather than one that brings relaxation. When I awoke Friday morning, I couldn't turn my head. When I needed to turn to look at something, I needed to turn my entire body. Even now, 48 hours after the fact, the back of my skull still feels bruised.

I haven't seen any bruises on my neck or shoulders. I'm left to assume that this Zen Master of Pain was so good at his craft that he was able to hide any marks his acupressure technique may have left. I'm just glad he wasn't so offended that he felt the need to use the Touch of Death.

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