I went down Memory Lane the other day. It was not the kind of Lane with a rugged path and picket fences with paling staves that adopted a diagonal position from sheer lack of maintenance. No. It was decked out with a string of booths made of glass and I could see what was going on in many of them from a distance. I got close to a few and pressed my nose against the glass for a better look. A look at human behaviour that recurs like a decimal in almost every massage scene. I don’t go down Memory Lane often, well not far, but after hearing some of the experiences that my old friends recalled, I was compelled to look and see what I’ve been chalking up. There are theories about altering the past, but I haven’t subscribed to any. It may be a subconscious fear that if I were to go back and change one dot, my current life would jerk around like the hand in a compass and probably stop in the opposite direction. So there I was gazing in with no one to interrupt. This was my Memory Lane and it would have been quite a thing to find other pedestrians here. Don’t they have their own Lanes to walk on?
The immediate scene was one of me going West to visit a client whose place was almost a nook in the hill. When you are travelling on the Main Road and the gaze drawn upwards, you never really know how many persons are ‘up there’ shielded by the work of nature and excellent gardeners. My client would pick me up at the bottom of the hill then do an almost dizzy circular drive up where the view is worth the price. He was the quiet be-spectacled type who wasted no words and would notice if each piece on the Chessboard was centered on its square. We appraised each other without looking…there are more senses than five. He kept his eyes on the road and I took in the landscape. He tried for a joke and I laughed. He was making an effort, and I respected that. Some of us are comfortable in our own company, but every now and then are obligated to being social. A massage was his reason.
When he finally stopped and I disembarked, I slowly did a circle. Beautiful from any which way. The place was nicely done indeed and I dared to say that it would be a waste not to have a wife and children to share such with. He smiled. Rightly so. I did not ask a question, so there was no need for an answer. At the front door I was greeted by cats. He observed their response to me as if it were a test I had to pass before going further. Ain’t that something? Well, we might as well give the cats something to work with. I asked for some water. He had filtered water. Filtered? Tap water is tap water. The cheap filters that are accessible don’t effectively filter the taste so I knew that I would be gagging on the first gulp. The trick is to hold your nose and drink. Okay, where do I get the water? The kitchen. I strutted off in the direction he pointed…cats in tow. I glanced around the kitchen. A woman definitely lived here. After I had quenched my thirst and gotten the thumbs up from the cats, it was time to go do the massage.
Oops! Cats first. They darted ahead of me into the bedroom. Spacious. Breathtaking view of the gulf, surely not in itself, but accentuated by the foreground. He pulled the drapes. Hhmmm. So much for scenic. With permission, I washed my hands in the adjoining area and settled down to the massage. Cats again. One opted for an aerial view by climbing atop the chest of drawers and looking down at me. The other bounced onto the bed and sat near him, as if on guard. I keep saying cats, but it was likely that they were beloved ancestors reincarnated. They were certainly not dumb animals. A few minutes into the massage there was communication between them that the scene was safe so one settle on a mat on the floor while the other stepped of the room. As for him, he too got comfortable and all that intellectual silence disappeared into loaded questions and casual conversations about sensuality with a kink. One glance at me and anyone could see that I’m into kinky. It’s just limited to my hair.
Conversation was easy because I did not adapt a defensive position on his line of questioning and he did not have to break down his ideas into grains of sand for me to grasp them. Naturally, he eventually enquired of the willingness of my brain to process the range of stimuli that he desired to send to it via my skin. I enquired whether the woman (who clearly laid claim to half of the washroom by having her things strewn there and who probably shared the very bed I was on) in his life would approve of his intentions. He shrugged and told me it was nothing. Quite casually. Maybe that meant she was his sister or one of the more forward-thinking spouses who understands that real infidelity takes place at the emotional rather than physical level, and would agree (through her silence) to his interest in me (not as a person, but) as a female companion which her unavoidable absence conveniently creates room for. So I was not to get any ideas of longevity or feelings of attachment, it was all about having the requisite body part/s.
Now this is the kind of reasoning that makes me consider doing Psychology, but I suspect that the academics of the programme would cloud the intrigue to be had from everyday psychology. The fact that I made it through a 2-hour massage with him doing most of the talking (for a quiet guy), was testimony that I was companion enough or he would have long gotten rid of me. On my way out the cats enthusiastically bounded through the doorway ahead of me. It was now dark outside and one darted off among the trees. And there went my client, off into the darkness of the garden in search of a cat…his cat…whatever. Maybe that’s how his life generally is, which is why he probably called me in the first place. Did I mention that he was a medical practitioner? Yep. The kind that upscale medical institutions fly in from somewhere out there, and keep well pampered while he does what no local can do. And no, this is not an old man. He is young and bored. He has seen and done so much that he requires the dramatic to ruffle his feathers. Thankfully, he hadn’t grown any over the period of our sessions, which relieved me of the obligation to ruffle them.