Anyone who knows me knows that getting massages are second only to a good haircut on my list of pleasurable things to experience. There is nothing I like better than to slip out of my clothes and lay on a heated table while some female with strong hands and a working knowledge of the male anatomy goes to work on me. This being common knowledge means that every holiday season my mailbox is choked with gift certificates to massage parlors. I tend to hoard them, holding on to them as long as possible so as not to blow through 4 massages in January and then be left to my own devices the rest of the year.
Such was the case this year when I held out until yesterday to cash in the first one. It was to a new spot, one I had never been before despite the fact that they were apparently a national chain with 500 locations throughout the continental United States. I marched right in, slapped down the gift card and asked for the works. After a little paperwork I was shown to my room and introduced to my masseuse, a perky little thing but I noticed with a little trepidation that she was the owner of some small hands. Oh well… ants can carry stuff twice their size over their heads so who am I to judge strength right?
So I strip off and I’m laying there under the little sheet looking up at the ceiling tiles listening to the slightly oriental-sounding music with the babbling stream in the background. Waiting.
Then it happens.
Now I know you’ve been waiting for the “Then it happens” since the first sentence. Any time someone starts off so tediously you’re waiting for the story to slip off the rails. There is no way someone is going to typing away about their massage in such painful bland fashion unless they are setting you up for some crazy twist that will repay you for your patience in hearing about small hands and babbling streams.
Of course, now I’ve gone and messed it up because no matter what I type now you’re going to be somehow disappointed because I’ve to the time and energy of making you think that the “Then it happens” is going to be total unbelievable and mind-blowing when in fact it’s really not.
In fact, had you been present at the massage you wouldn’t have noticed anything at all. Why? Because the mind-blowing was going on in my own head, i.e. my mind blew the fun out of the massage. The perky girl with the small hands probably thought she did a good job because there was no outward display of the stupidity going on in my head. Had she had the proportional strength of an ant I probably would have asked her to use her small but mighty hands to crush my head in I was so frustrated.
At what you ask?
Now we’re getting somewhere.
I’m lying there before she comes in looking at the ceiling tiles and suddenly I start to wonder if this is what it feels for the corpse just before the autopsy starts. Assuming, of course, that being dead and all will remove the pain from the procedure I couldn’t help but wonder if this is what awaits most of us. Take away the heated table and replace it with a cold metal surface and what’s the difference really? Nobody can say with 100% certainty that we’re no longer occupying our bodies when they decide to start in with the scalpels.
Normally this is the kind of stupid shit going through my head at all times so I think nothing of it until I see my masseuse walk in and I suddenly become aware that I’m still thinking the same stupid shit about the autopsy. I swear, I can hear her idly handling the steel instruments on her tray as she starts the procedure.
I panic. Not because I think that she is actually going to start carving me up but because I am thinking when I should be laying limp and enjoying the massage. I’m still thinking! Nothing could be worse!
At least, that’s what I thought until I start imaging her cutting open the front of my chest and reaching for the device that cracks open my ribcage.
I couldn’t stop. There was no pain, just the hollow feeling as she started to cut out and remove my various organs.
I couldn’t turn it off. I was almost half way through my massage/autopsy and I wasn’t even paying attention to the oils and squeezing, instead I just kept looking at the ceiling and feeling the feeling of mourning that a body must feel as it is stripped of its parts like an expensive car left in ….Newark…. overnight.
I wonder what I died of. Why did I even need this autopsy?
I started to run down the list of suspects who had delivered me to this cold fate.
Finally! It was time to turn over. I could forget about the stupid autopsy stuff and at least enjoy the last half of my massage.
I rolled over and stuck my head in the little face-hole and prepared for some quality rub time. She needed to adjust the neck-thing because of my height so she could “elongate my neck”.
Was this what it felt like just before you were decapitated?
You stupid fucking mind.
I couldn’t help but wonder what the final seconds would be like before a guillotine or axe fell and separate your head from the rest of your body. Honestly, I think it would be one of the easier ways to die. You’d think that right? One second your head is attached and thinking away and the next it’s rolling around with your mouth probably making the same faces that a fish does when it is out of the water for a little while. Assuming that the blade is relatively sharp I can’t imagine there would be much, if any, pain. Just one thud and you’re suddenly one hat too many.
That’s assuming that the shock and blood loss makes your quickly lose consciousness. But what if you didn’t?
THAT is the new stupid shit that was suddenly going through my head to replace the old stupid shit that was going through my head! All the time my precious massage minutes were slipping by unnoticed.
I could go into detail about what occupied my mutinous mind for the next half hour; the thoughts of a brave speech before the decapitation, the strange spinning view you’d suddenly have as your head rolled and bounced around before coming to rest on the ground looking up at the rest of your corpse, you get the idea.
What I was thinking wasn’t half as important as the fact I was thinking. Thinking and ruining my massage.
Why would I do this to myself? Aren’t I the master of my own mind? Can’t I tell it to shut the fuck up?
I spent the whole time thinking stupid shit and ended up blowing the whole massage. Even the part where she rubs my scalp. The high holy part of the massage! Instead I was thinking how strange it would feel to have the top of the skull cut open with a bone saw and removed completely.
I paid and even gave her my normal generous tip. It wasn’t her fault that I fucked up my own massage because I couldn’t shut off my brain.
That’s it. No cute pithy ending. Just sitting here typing…
Wondering what it would be like if I worked as a typist for a coroner…
Date of death:
Time of death:
Cause of death:
Internal examination: The body is opened with the usual Y – shaped incision… blah blah blah