Many thoughts have gone through my head when I’ve lain on a massage table. Most of them have revolved around the temperature of the room, whether the airconditioning needed tweaking, if I should or shouldn’t have waxed before the massage, if there were any hidden cameras in the room, if the masseur would get any better looking with dimmer lighting, etc. But never have I thought about how much I miss a person’s touch on my naked body.
As I lay there with melancholic strains of violin music wafting through the inconspicuous speakers, I sensed each goose-bump as it awakened to the almost forgotten sensation of another texture of skin. The masseur’s strong fingers worked on my muscles and sinews oblivious to the fact that his every stroke reminded me of the others who had touched me in exactly the same place entirely differently.
I remembered conversations about tattoos that we would get together that would mean something for the rest of our lives. Forgotten scars from overheated motorcycle exhaust pipes didn’t even tingle but the memory of that evening, the fear as we raced for our lives (we thought) to reach home, was evident in the slight up-tick of my heartbeat even today. The slope where my neck meets my shoulder prickled with awareness of the fact that I had dedicated it to him because only he seemed to know what to do with it…
I closed my eyes and felt my body become a detailed map of my life under the skillful fingers of a stranger. My sore arm muscles took me to our days of playing hooky from work just so we could chase each other around the house playing tag. I remembered how you wrestled me to the floor while I laughed helplessly. And then, how I wasn’t laughing any more. If someone had been recording audio, all they would have heard would have been soft whispers and the rustling of sheets. And the crackle of tin foil as we unwrapped left-over meatloaf that my mother had sent across.
Hands rubbing the soles of my feet brought to mind sloppily applied red nail polish because you were blindfolded and I was bored. My stomach muscles used to ache almost constantly because we laughed uncontrollably about everything. I’ve forgotten what your eyes look like but I remember how you laughed. More than anything, I remember the laughs.
Sitting in the sauna room where I can’t see my fingers in front of my face, I feel the heat as it struggles through my epidermis to start warming my long-frozen insides. I wonder if this is what it will feel like when I let another you walk into my life, when I let another you decode the secrets of my body and let you leave a mark on it as well. I wonder if this is what it will feel like to be… loved again..