Feelings. Nothing more than feelings.
It was my first time, and I was a little anxious, but excited about it.
She met me at the door of her house, where her studio was, shook my hand, and invited me in.
The room was comfortable and quiet, with nice scents and soft music in the air, red and yellow roses visible out the window, and a big JOY on the wall opposite the two posters of the human skeletal and muscular systems. The table sat squarely in the middle of the floor.
"Everything off and lie down under the sheets, please."
Like I said, it was my first time. No doubt, this was going to feel weird. I saw her license and certifications on the wall. She was a professional. This was going to be a good experience and I was going to be in the moment and enjoy it. I was on vacation after all, and a good friend had arranged these sessions for my wife (who had proceeded me by an hour) and me.
She left the room. I disrobed, lay down as instructed, and put my face in the soft, toweled support that lay at the end of the table for just that purpose. She came back in, and one of the best experiences of my life started.
Have you ever had a real, professional massage? Before I go further, let me just tell you now, it is unreal. It is fabulous. It is a bucket list item that must be done once, then probably again before too much longer.
A combination of rubbing, pushing, pulling, bending, rotating, oiling, toweling, kneading, hurting just to the point of helping, hot sand bags and cold applicators, an experience that at first makes you feel very vulnerable, then pliable, then relaxed, then wishing that you had paid for two hours instead of just one. Head, scalp, neck, arms, legs, back, shoulders, hands, fingers, feet, toes. It's all good.
I found myself going in and out of a state of semi-consciousness. Never asleep, but sometimes so relaxed that I forgot where I was.
"Back to reality," she said as she took the soft cover off my eyes, opened the blinds, let the sunshine stream in, and left the room. "Get up slowly, and remember to drink lots of water today."
I got dressed, and it was over. I walked to the front door, we shook hands, and I walked outside.
Happiness on Tuesday this week was a professional massage.