Aye, there's the rub.

So, I wrote about my nine-fingered masseur, and my cyber-friend, Chuck Baudelaire (whose blog you both can, and should, read HERE), posited that it really depended on which finger was missing.

I can tell you it was his right index finger, and it was about 2/3 gone.

But honestly, still a great massage.

And if you can believe it, it's not even the weirdest massage story I can tell.

I got my first massage at the tender age of 22.  Right before my sister's wedding, my mother sent me over to a masseuse she'd used and liked.  I have to admit, I had been doing work around the house, lost track of time, and ended up at the place a little sweatier and smellier than I should have.  Oh well.  I don't remember anything about it other than that I must have liked it.

After that, massages were a rare and exotic treat, because I sure couldn't afford them - unless I went to the Atlanta School of Massage.  A few years later, just before Christmas, I went and had one with a guy named Aaron.  He had decided a few years in to Chiropractic school that his passion was massage, and so he was now studying that.  He was awesome.    The following spring, I went back - got another student - a huge brute of a guy who worked me so hard, I bruised and felt totally sick for the next few days.  I didn't go back to the Atlanta School of Massage.

I would, on occasion, splurge and go to Spa Sydell - I remember two times specifically - once after I ran the Peachtree Road Race, and, dehydrated and overheated, lost my way back to MARTA and ended up going another five miles out of my way.  The next day, I called in a moment of impulse and was rewarded with a massage, and my first exposure to cucumber water.

Another time, I'd had an especially difficult Christmas.  Working my regular job, plus a gig at Macy's, and I was interviewing to move up here.  And didn't get the job.  Oh well!  I splurged and gave myself a whole day at Sydell - and by the end of it, I felt over-touched and a little sick. This is a recurring theme.

So, finally, we arrive at my 30th year on this planet.  It was February - I would be getting married in August.  And the radio station I listened to was having a "Worst Valentine's Day Ever" contest.  So I sent in a description of the year my ex bought himself a stereo, and me a pocket knife.  I won the grand prize - a high dollar gift certificate to Spa Sydell.

So, I talked to Mom, who had gotten a Sydell gift card from Dad at Christmas, and I hatched a plan.  If she would be willing to hang on to hers, I could use mine on me and Laura, she could use hers on herself, and we'd all go get massages together before my wedding.

Look, I was broke back then - I know that sounds chintzy, and maybe it was - but Mom readily agreed.

We arrived at Spa Sydell, and a tall, tan, athletic woman came out and called Laura's name.  Then a different version of the same woman came and called Mom's name.

And then, my masseuse came out.  She was no taller than 5 feet.  She wore dark glasses and had a white cane.

If I'm lying, I'm dying.

Her name was Lisa, and I thought, "Well, this sucks."   I wanted some deep tissue work, and I thought she wouldn't be able to deliver that, even if she could find the table in the first place.  Because, remember?  I'm an asshole.

As it turns out, Lisa was amazing.  She found every knot and beat it into submission.  She was also really nice, and we had a conversation about a book she was writing, and how the characters in the book basically spoke to her and told her what to say.

It was one of the best massages I've ever had.

When it was done, she said, "Well, if you ever come back and can't remember my name, ask for the little blind black woman, because I'm the only one here."

After that, we went shopping for lingerie for my wedding night, and had a little lunch, and came home.

So, yeah - I've had some unique experiences.

For awhile, I had a place I liked up here near our house, but I'm kind of over them.  I'm pretty sure I'll go back to my new friend.  Even if I still feel a little toxic from Thursday.  Let's face it, I'm just a little toxic - period.

But I have no problem paying people to touch me.



Thanks for the shout-out. But still...strangers touching you. If you told me you were paying good money to be poked in the eye with a sharp stick dipped in Sriracha, I couldn't be more creeped out.