The dialogue in my head starts like this: Eh…watch nah…nah fuh seh nuttin eh, but ting nah regula wid dah man. I was having a discourse with Mr. Toco who lets me see a little more of his world each time we meet. There I was, giving him a massage in bed while he spoke of ‘roast bake’ that was made in an ‘iron pot’ with fire at the bottom and fire on the cover too, when a different sound entered the room…like a baritone singer practicing. If you had lived on the sunny side of the street where my Dad swallowed shark oil for his vocal chords, then exercised them with several rounds of Ave Maria, you too would have recognized the baritone. I paused and listened. There was the distinct Ahhhhhhhhh…, but it never continued into Ave. I asked Mr. Toco what was that. He said it was Mr. Muslim, he does that in his sleep. Remarkable. He had a good voice. The massage continued. The sound came again. This time there was a hurried crescendo. He was screaming. Aahhh!!!!!!! Look what dey doing to meh! Dey biting meh! Deh boring a hole in meh foot! Stop dem! Somebody stop dem! Mr. Toco’s body was vibrating. I looked at his face. He was cracking up with laughter. Mine was stirring on the inside, so I let it out. I was so weak I could not continue the massage. Is this for real? Waaaaayyyy! Nah boy! Ting totally irregula.
It took Mr. Toco and I a while to settle down. He told me this is what they have to endure at nights. I told him I was not laughing because it was funny, and found myself laughing while I said that. Dear Lord. We got back to our dashine porridge and I told him I never had that, but I love plantain porridge…as made from dried plantain ground into flour. The bellowing was back. Stop dem!!! Stop dem!!! Aye!!! Dey eating meh flesh!!! Another resident who was watching television in the living room asked him if they were biting him in the day now, he thought was only at night. Toco and I nearly died. Oh my God! Mr. Muslim told the man they were cannibals. People were eating his flesh, and it had nothing to do with day or night. They bit into him when they wanted. The man told him to say his prayers. A Nurse went to his aid and I heard her telling him that his foot was trapped by the wheel of the chair and the pain must have caused him to dream that he was being bitten. He told her it was not a dream and that she is bringing reasoning into the picture. He insisted that he was being attacked by cannibals. She told him she did not see any. Mr. Toco whispered that he was paying for his deeds…like abandoning his children to spite their mother because she was not subservient as he had insisted on her being. One reason he can’t accept his son caring for him. Seems he expects to be hated. Anyway, Mr. Toco and I agreed that if Mr. Muslim is still on earth and experiences such a tortured life, no one should try anticipating Hell. Let’s get on with the love.
After I left the Home I made a few spins, attended a meeting, then headed home. And there I was, holding a meditation, when the phone rang. I answered. Recognized the voice, but telephone etiquette dictated that the caller identify himself. He had a business dinner and wanted a massage before that. I told him I might not be able to help. He recounted how long he has known me how it is not often that he bothers me and this and that. Hmmm. Point taken. I rolled over in bed and looked at myself in the mirror and saw a face I could take into the public domain. I asked for his location and promised to be there in record time. He asked to be reminded of my fee. I told him. He said that was not it the last time and remarked that there is a new price each time he visits. Hmmm. I told him that means he has been visiting every two years. Noooooo. Well, maybe that’s the price for the immediacy of the treatment. He laughed. Well, should I bother to come or not? Yes! Yes, I’ll pay you. I’ll have to go to the ATM. Good. I rolled out of bed and got dressed. Called from the lobby when I got there. Said he will be down shortly and advised that he will initially walk pass me to go to the ATM (thought he had promised to do that before I arrived) and on his return I am to follow him. Wait, is this a covert operation? A what? A covert operation? Oh, you mean like… Yea, like… He laughed.
And true to his word, he exited the elevator and marched pass on his cell phone as if he never knew me. I then saw him go to the lobby. A few minutes later he came walking towards me, still on the phone, with a nod of the head that indicating that I should now go with him. I stood and walked to the elevator. There were five of us in there sizing each other up while my client spoke in loud Spanish tones on his cell. The conversation ended a few minutes after we entered his room. Then there was another call. For all my punctuality I found myself looking at the little people down below at the waterfront instead of doing a massage. I told myself if he keeps this up he will be getting a massage that’s so brief, he won’t be able to tell if he had a massage at all. Time is time. The call finally ended and he got a towel for the bed. Then he asked if I wanted music as he brought his notebook to bed with him. Music? Since when he wanted to treat me to music? He just wanted that thing at his hand-reach to respond to whoever sends him whatever message.
Fifteen minutes later than he requested, the massage was started. I oiled the whole back of his body so that I could work without need to pause for further application. I asked if there were any focal points. No. A nice massage is enough. Okay then. I started. Then he raised his head and said: No hands. (Meaning arms). I said okay. No head. Okay. I continued. He raised his head again. You could spend most of the time between here… (Let the record show that the client placed his hand on his lower back) …and here. (Let the record show that the client placed his hand on his upper thigh). Your buttocks? Yes, my butt. Okay. Working feet up, I did spend some time on the upper legs and buttocks before doing his back. I then asked him to turn over. Nooo. Here… He touched his buttocks. I told him I did there already. He said do it some more. Some more? I grabbed a handful of flesh and told him that his butt is soft, all the tension is gone, there is nothing more to do there. A little more. Fine. I splayed my finger and did feathering. I feathered his buttocks from superior to inferior, inferior to superior, medial to lateral, lateral to medial, and even diagonally. I told him I was finished. Noooo. Don’t be ashamed. Continue. I slapped his butt and told him to turn over. When he did his penis was dribbling. He smiled and said that felt sooooooooo good he wanted me to go deeper. Deeper where? Down, more down. Down where? To the testicles. I told him I did not see his testicles while he was lying prone. He turned back over on his belly and expanded his legs wide while demonstrating how my fingers were supposed to follow his spine, from sacrum to coccyx, repeatedly. Thus arriving at his testicles, again and again. I asked him to kindly role back over. Our time was limited as he had a meeting to attend. He said the meeting could wait. Really? If I had known that before I would not have left home in a rush.
As I worked he lay there peering at me with his almost black eyes and suddenly realized he liked my massages because they were firm and got to the ‘right’ muscles, but said he can’t wait for me to include the other part. I did not respond. He then said he noticed that time seemed to have gone by without affecting me, as I looked the same (a little weight more or less) each time he visits. I remained silent. That’s a ten-year period of sporadic massages. To have not aged in that time is supposed to be very ‘butt-massage’ motivating. I have a 90 year old client (another one) who fell and hit his butt and his son requested that I do massages for him once per month. The man would have none of it. He said once weekly. He said they have six estates and can more than pay for the massages. Eh-em. Did not ask what kind of estate – or if his son needed a wife. Anyway, I did a general massage, spending the latter 20 minutes trying to rid the gluteal area of a large patch of ‘black’ blood. Another twenty minutes (this week) were spent trying to relax some of the muscles which felt like he had a diagonal rope in his butt. Naturally, that would be painful even for a spring chick, so the unwinding of it will take some time. So yes, I do butt massages quite comfortably, but I was having difficulty with the justification, or lack of it in this case.
He attempted again to coerce me and I asked him to behave. Behave? Yes, behave. Then he asked and answered his own questions… I touch you? No. I tell you take your clothes of? No. I’m behaving. He asked how business was. I told him if I complained, hail might fall. He reflected on the first time we met. It was over at the Crowne Plaza back when they still had balconies. I remember him nearly catching a fit when I ventured to do his abdomen. He thought I was trying to seduce him, for though he has had massage before, the Therapists never did that area. To each his own. I had explained what I was trying to do, and he allowed me. He in turn had explained that he was engaged and there was a fidelity vow between himself and fiancée. A fidelity vow has to be taken? Isn’t that a foregone conclusion? Anyway, the point is that he did not marry a him, he married a her. Why marry a her, give her children, and defend her modesty, but try to disrespect my profession by wanting to use our time together to explore aspects of his sexuality that marrying a him would have taken care of? Not every her can appreciate her husband wanting deliberate and/or sustained anal stimulation, and not every Massage Therapist wants the job either.
The very next evening I received a call from a gentleman who read something on my blog that piqued his interest and decided to leave his hotel room and come see me. For a moment I thought that he was sent by my international connections to audit me, but that thought changed by the time I was thru. We started the massage. According to him, he had a Baker’s Cyst, on both legs near the knees. One quite visible, the other was not. That reminded me of a former student who had told us of a female client who had a lump behind her knee that pained periodically and needed to be surgically removed. We had tried to explore the possibilities of how her job and/or footwear had contributed to this. She was in the Army. This client was in the Navy. I also learnt that he had surgery in the coccyx area which became infected afterward with bacteria eating away at the tissue. So they had to open him again and deal with that. Is the ratio of my clienst who are being eaten rising?
He asked about Reflexology and I explained what I do. He asked about Crystal Therapy (have a workshop next month…will advise in due course) and I told him about that. This was a longer conversation as he seemed more interested in crystals than he was in Reflexology. He asked about Nada Yoga, and this had the longest discussion as we explored posture and colour and sound. We agreed that anyone who is consciously working with chakras will inevitably encounter the oneness of that and other systems like the meridians, kabbalic tree of life, etc. He then said he saw something about Lover’s Therapy on my site. Really? Lover’s Therapy? That must have been a comment in passing about something. I told him to formally offer that service would require serious emotional stability, and above all, a husband. He thinks I could do it. I do, indirectly. I could pull it off professionally, but it could undermine the progress of some couples if they know that I am not walking the talk.
And there I was, feeling all comfortable with our chitter chatter when I brought back to reality because he decided to do yoga on the massage table. As I worked his upper leg, I found my strokes gradually going up. The incline got progressively steeper. He was assuming a reversed fish pose, where the chest and knees are pressed against the massage table while the pelvis took to the air. This client clearly knew that actions speak louder than words and was probably acting out the other client’s verbal request. I try not to judge what gives who pleasure, but it is a matter of concern that some of my clients seem to be saying to me, in more ways than one, that I’ve lived all my life just to arrive at this point where they require my participation in their coccygeal investigation.