Good Friday Massage


I went downstairs to hang out some wet laundry last week and happened upon a hen that had just laid an egg on the concrete. It was not the only one. There were five of them, representing five days of laying…I supposed. The hen belonged to a neighbour about three houses away. I hung out my clothes and went upstairs.

It was taking some effort to pretend that I did not see the eggs. I went back for them with a calabash which I then rested on the kitchen cupboard. I have not eggs in my kitchen for over nine months, because they are not a critical part of my diet. Now I had to think of something to do with them. I decided that they will be given to a friend of mine.

As if she heard my decision, she called. I later visited her. While sitting in her gallery I remembered the eggs at home. I concluded that I was not to give her bare eggs, I had to make something with them. Easter is a time of eggs, and I thought that Shrove Tuesday pancakes (which is fairly unknown and/or unmade here in Trinidad), syrup and all, would be acceptable.

Today is Good Friday and Cross Buns is the thing. I did not buy any because I have not shopped around enough to find one that reminds me of my mother’s. Besides, why buy when you can bake? I rolled off the sofa and put the ingredients together…the eggs were all good…in the form of dough and left it to raise.

The phone rang. A dear lady who was staying at one of the top hotels needed a massage. She was having a manicure and pedicure done at the hotel, but for reasons not given, was outsourcing a massage. She wanted to come to me, but had no idea where my village was. I indicated that I do outcalls, and if it was fine with her, I could come to her room after they had prettied her up. She was glad to hear that and wanted to know if I do the finger stuff too. I advised her that I can do it, but have chosen to stick with massage over the years. We set a time to meet by the elevator, which she was to later confirm.

After the call, I looked at the dough and explained to it that we only have time for the raising. The baking will have to be done tomorrow. It agreed. So, when it rose, I rolled it into little buns and set them in a few baking pans. Then I had to rearrange the stuff on the shelves in the fridge, so that the baking pans could fit. That way I would not have to worry about returning home to find dough walking the length of the kitchen floor.

I half dressed a few minutes before I expected the call from the dear lady. It was understood that once she was out of the spa and on the way to her room, I could start making my way over to the hotel. The time came and I got no call. Time drags when you are waiting, so it behoved me to step out of waiting mode. I put on a DVD I had gotten from the library yesterday…A Mighty Heart with Angelina Jolie.

About half hour into the movie I paused it to change and put on regular clothes. Back to the movie, with mauby and pancake. My phone rang. It was the lady. Her tone was different. I listened and understood that she was livid, at least frustrated. We were no longer going to do the massage.

It is Easter weekend, and Tom, Dick, and Harry were taking advantage of the offers that various hotels promoted. This probably resulted in the spa being overbooked, which resulted in the time for her finger stuff being done, shifted, and shifted. As at the time of our conversation, she was still running on hope. Which is understandably aggravating. Had she suspected such would have been the case, she could have had her massage done earlier. But the customer friendliness is laid on so thick, one feels bad about questioning what one is told.

And, there was almost an insinuation of it being partly my fault…I could have agreed to do the finger thing, then do the massage thing, and it would have all been fine.

Ah! There must be some meaning to all this. I think the hot cross buns dough was probably too hot (rich), so it needed to go into the fridge, so the lady called to arranged the massage to give me reason to put it into the fridge, and after it would have cooled enough, the lady called back to give me reason to take it out. And so, the dough rose. And I got a pair of scissors and clipped the top twice (horizontal and vertical), to make a cross, and I glazed them and put them into the oven when it was properly heated.

And there you have it, the Good Friday massage that never was. The only kneading I was allowed, was that of the Cross Buns dough.

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