Yesterday was my last day of summer vacation before teacher pre-planning began. My last day to relax and recharge. And I did just that.
I finally used the massage gift certificate Mike got me for a Valentine’s Day gift. (What? I’m only five months late…)
The massage was marvelous. I don’t know what took me so long. Yes I do… TWINS. Still, it was well worth the wait.
To be honest, I was more than a little anxious about this appointment, though. For the first time ever, I had a male massage therapist. And considering you’re kind of naked and vulnerable on that table — along with the fact I was raised in a cult where skin is akin to original sin — this was a giant step outside my comfort zone.
His name was Wesley, I reasoned, as I settled beneath the sheets, candles flickering lazily and zen music playing softly. Wesley is such a non-assuming, more-than-slightly-Methodist name, so what’s to worry? That, plus the splashing water sounds and chirping birdcalls helped set my mind at ease.
Turns out, there was no need to worry, whatsoever. Wesley was a perfect gentleman and a perfect massage therapist. I was always appropriately sheeted or toweled and completely at ease (mostly).
I presented quite the challenge to poor little Methodist Wesley’s protestant work ethic. I had more knots in my back than a macrame hammock, and today I kind of feel like I got stretched taut between trees until the hammock unravelled. It’s all good, though, I told him to get them out. And he did. The knots screamed; I screamed. Eventually, they succumbed and I survived.
After the trauma, I relaxed into an awesome foot massage. Now, my favorite part of any massage is always the foot part of a massage. I love it more than warm banana pudding, and that’s saying a lot. Now some of you like cold banana pudding, and that’s saying a lot, too. Like how wrong you are, and how you probably like chardonnay (and even sugar in your cornbread, too). But, whatever. You’re wrong and foot massages are all that is right in this world.
But the surprising part of yesterday’s massage — the part I loved the absolute most — was a really weird technique I’d never encountered before. I’ll call it Red Bull…
So I was lying on my back, the sheet smooth once again — its myriad of origami massage pleats deconstructed — and the session complete. Or so I thought.
It was then Wesley returned to the crown of my head, placed both his hands, palms up, under my shoulders and slid them all the way down to my kidneys. It was weird and uncomfortable. Number one — because it felt like my back was straddling train tracks, and number two — because Wesley’s chin was directly above my face. I could feel his breath. It was awkward as fundamentalism.
But then he pulled his arms backward, lifting my body with his hands as he went. It was like sails being unfurled from somewhere spiny and cramped in my center, like wings being unwound. I was in metamorphosis, and it was marvelous.
I emerged from the spa yesterday afternoon like a newborn moth, all limp and relaxed and blinking blindly in the sun, every tendon and blood vessel traceable beneath translucent skin.
Red Bull. It gives you wings.
Go see Wesley and get your wings.