You Hit the Spot

Recently, I’ve been trying to open myself to new experiences: cooking, romance, forest time, rap battles. I was told that one should expand their horizons and try new things. But they should’ve warned me that sometimes new things can make your body feel like a bed of a morbidly obese bison.

         It was March 1st and I was off with my family to the infamous annual random mall day, the day where we would practically host a family reunion at whatever victim mall we could find.

I was so excited that I should have been hospitalized. But, soon after, it happened. We were to buddy up and explore. I never would’ve had to go through what I went through that day if it weren’t for my buddy…I never would have been near that place.

We had to split up because I needed to go to the restroom like an endangered Lois needs Superman and my buddy had to go and get the same thing he’s gotten for the past three years, a massage.

“After you’re done, meet me at the massage place,” he said before jogging off like a mom going to see the return of The Backstreet Boys—I didn’t know my buddy could run that fast.

So, I did just that. I remember seeing that sign—I had no idea at the time, but that chili-hot red neon sign would become a recurring symbol in my nightmares, and I would go on to wake up—on numerous nights—panicked and drenched in my man-sweat because of that little parlor with “RELAXwritten above it.

It was a quaint little parlor, so I even took a juicy dad-selfie outside of it; the self-portrait now serves as the last picture I took as an innocent, unbroken boy. I walked in and asked—she that will forever be known in my nightmares as—The Woman if she, “had seen a big black boy in here?” 

The Woman pulled out her phone and I wondered wow, that’s pretty creepy to keep pictures of their clients; but I was wrong, it was a translator app. I asked again and the phone informed her of my unfortunately worded question, then The Woman chaperoned me to an ominous, dim room where I saw my buddy laid flat-back—like Frankenstein’s other experiment—fully clothed, with a towel over his gut and thighs. He must have been expecting some magical healer because he was horrified and vehemently disappointed to see me pop into the room.

“Get on outta here now! I don’t like it when people are in here,” he half shouted.

“Alrighty, I just wanted to see where you went homie,” I replied as I skipped out of the room feeling nauseous.

The Womanas though this entire circus was rehearsed—cackled after my escape and then pointed at one of the chairs in the front of the parlor.


“Umm… sure why not, how much?”

We sauntered over to the desk and negotiated, ending with 10 Minutes = $12. After handing her the money we sealed the Devil’s Contract with a smile.

The massage contraption was half bicycle, half standing chair torture device. The Woman laid paper towels on the edges of the face hole; they would be practically dissolved by my face muck ten minutes later. After I finally got all my appendages in the right compartments, I tried to relax. Then it started.

The Woman started with my lower neck. From the first second she laid her hands on me I realized she had the strength of an Olympic Hand Wrestler. I had no idea that it was possible to instantly bruise. The Woman pulled my shoulders toward herself and I rocked back with her as she wore out the elastic in my shoulders. Then, The Woman initiated the spin of doom. She would rotate her hands in a small circular motion up and down my back. She had Mr. Miyagi’s style only she was waxing deep within my back fat and waxing off my skin entirely. At this point, I was quivering with laughter because I knew I had made the worst financial decision of my life. Unfortunately, the more I laughed the more constricted my muscles became which made the sledgehammer that was pummeling my back cause more pain (the more pain, the more I laughed—the more I laughed, the more pain).

Yet, this wasn’t enough. The Woman continued to brutalize my back, this time using a method that I believe she improvised specifically to assault me. SHE USED HER ELBOWS! Where was the contract that included elbows in massageology—elbows are pointed nubs, how could they possibly provide a soothing touch? The Woman was winning; my back was the Cleveland Browns. It must have been difficult for her elbows to terrorize my body considering how slippery I was. I was secreting moisture from all body holes, my shirt was baggy and a different color when I got up. But The Woman still had a trick up her—oddly muscular—sleeves…the pats. You’ve seen the massage in movies where the masseuse does the gentle karate chops and whoever is receiving the massage is groaning in satisfaction? Well, this was no movie. This was the feeling of a bodybuilding gorilla hacking at my back like a lumberjack at a pine.

Finally, the ten minutes were over. Twelve dollars… this boy was broken for only twelve dollars. I thanked The Woman and limped over to the waiting room chair. I felt substantially worse than I did before I sat down in the torture device.

“How was it?” asked my aforementioned buddy. He looked invigorated—a new, spry young man as he smiled over my shattered body.

“Where were you?!” I exclaimed.

“Getting a deep-tissue massage man! It’s a little harder than the one you can get at the front, but it’s worth it.”

“I doubt that.”

The Woman instantly turned and giggled.

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