The neck harmonizes in alto, and the stomach does a soprano as I sit dripping sesame oil everywhere.
Subsequent to the dilemma described in the previous post, as I hesitantly picked up my call to cancel the appointment, the cell chimed. “May I come now for the massage, my earlier appointment got pushed back” said the masseuse. I may have hesitated a moment before I acquiesced – after all, during my 12 hour labor that wasn’t progressing like it should, I had all kinds of people prodding me 14 years ago, just how more embarrassing could a massage be, I reasoned.
Turns out not much. At least not after the first half hour of “won’t the ground swallow me in my inglorious near-nudity” agony. But let’s start at the beginning.
A very Malayali woman, complete with sandal paste on forehead entered the house, all business and smiles. “Give me some hot oil and strip down to your underwear”, she said as a matter of fact. I shrank a few cubic meters into myself and fell face down on the bed, stripped as commanded, with every cell straining at its seams at the abject humiliation of being near-au-naturale in front of a stranger. But as the hot oil trickled down the offending back and the woman got down to business, the coccyx hummed a melody.
I had expected the coccyx to break into song, but what I hadn’t expected was my abdomen to conduct an entire symphony as it was kneaded like dough. I knew my stomach was bunched up, but never realised just how much how much until she pressed down at the center of the abdomen and I felt every single component shatter glass with its soprano. That’s when the humiliation of near-nudity, the cringe of alien touch on body and the stickiness of oil completely disappeared and the music got louder.
An hour later, I am seated with the laptop on my oily lap, waiting for the stipulated half-hour to end so that I can wash off the oil, and perhaps the remnant stress from the anointed body.
Will I do this again? Need you ask?