an emily blunt rant
I should start at the beginning (<- insert a visual of one
of those Brady Bunch/Gilligan's Island dream sequence spin-edits
here for your mental pleasure
was a kick boxing chickbabe when I first moved to Hollywood. But,
alas, a bad car accident has found me with chronic pain and perpetually
whining about the ten step walk-up I dwell in.
I'm not really into pain killers. I needed to find something.
this chronic pain drove me to physical therapy. The lack of insurance,
and the subsequent mega tab on a certificate-carrying therapist
with fancy initials stitched on her pressed white scrubs, drove
me downtown - literally - to a Thai massage parlor.
on once by a friend - I now sneak down to a sullen, gray, part
of town - alone - and weekly. You could say it's the bowels of
Los Angeles. I prefer to say the place has a touch of cityscape
tinged character - like a concrete and metal Travis Bickle, but
less the murderous insanity gene. I do lower the music as I approach
the avenue's dimly-lit exit. And, admittedly, the barometer seems
to rise a bit.
see my reflection in the rearview mirror - it is that of an addict.
supplier's nest lay on a lonely street where the sky seems to
end in murky goo. It sits on a slice of gutter Philip Marlowe
would describe with fancy superlatives to give it a sexy noir
accent. The only sound comes from distant car horns screaming
in contempt, and a fury of swirling discarded soda cans, oddly
like some kind of urban tumbleweeds, crackling in rhythm against
the old cement faced stores where I park.
always find a fine spot right in front of the parlor - no one
comes down here anymore.
place does say, "Massage" - half lit - on the marquee.
But get dancing nymphs and the soft porno music right out of your
head. There's nothing sexy or underhanded about this place - and
the girls don't take any nonsense. If any of them were actually
legally here you'd be paying triple for their expert ancient
Thai massage techniques handed down by 'Chandu the Great' or someone
it's thirty bucks for an hour - with peppermint oil.
waiting area hosts a grubby wounded little couch that puckers
up on the left side where people seem to prefer to sit - out of
the view of the quickly moving neighborhood passer bys - I assume.
Underfoot there's a telltale dirty red industrial carpet that
has that nauseating imbedded chemical smell from too many attempts
at cleaning a cheap rug. And the wall-art consists of a Thai import
company's product calendar - which is two years out of date and
slightly tilted left. It's a no-frills kinda joint.
thought of all I do to bring me here - secretly.
fuel my addiction I've had to cancel cable, shop at the Dollar
Store, and say farewell to the weekly sushi and sake soirees with
friends. Oh, it is bad. I even started sneaking in the cheap gas
into my faithful VW beetle Dudley, who I am sure knows of the
switch and disapproves - as he now seems to be retaliating by
hissing and cajunking through the Canyon roads.
all this self sacrifice? Oh dear reader, it is all so I can visit
my den of hedonism and see the woman they call Ms. Moi, my Thai
masseuse, and my addiction.
thought to myself recently while being greeted by Ms. Moi, "Is
it wrong for a hetro-sexual gal to feel "something"
when the small Thai women crawls up her body? Or is it an explainable
infatuation due to the euphoria I experience post-massage?"
know now Thai Massage is not for the wimpy. Know also I am a card-carrying
member of the U.S. Wimp Club which makes this particular addiction
all the stranger. Ms. Moi is patient with me. Hey, for the uninitiated
Thai massage is like experiencing deep tissue massage by an aggressive
Ukrainian wrestler that's having a bad day. The goal is to scare
the muscles into lethargy I think.
hooked. I lay in my cheesy fabric draped cubicle at Ms. Moi's
mercy - not unlike a netted Tuna. I'm wearing nothing but an anti-flattering
ensemble of really weird looking pajama-like pant bottoms that
tie just below the boob area and a tube-top-like hair net - both
in a sickly blue hue. I suppose an ounce of humiliation makes
the soul a bit stronger? That having been said, I've learned how
to "go to my happy place," where it's not Ms. Moi crawling
up my body, viciously probing the nooks and crannies where the
pain hides, no, it's a manly man, like say Benicio del Toro (of
course with a dye job, as his Count Chocula© hair-do
is so very unattractive), kneading my aching limbs while any number
of musical memories are conjured up from my mind's catalog, all
in an attempt to prevent permenant damage to my delicate pysche.
my friends are talking - whispering. They are fearful I've gotten
in with a strange crowd
a stranger crowd
and could be heading towards financial destruction. But so long
as I have this new spring in my step and something to pawn off
on Ebay, to keep me in this lifestyle I have grown accustom to,
I'm not worried about silly things like rent and food. Bah.
Though, it was a little weird last week at the close of our session
when Ms. Moi quietly drew the curtain and said softly in broken
English, 'When I slow can call you to come for massage?"
Oh dear. She knows I'm an addict
she-devil with the healing
Naturally, I scribbled her my cell number, pulled my baseball
cap low, and slipped out to the street, hoping Dudley still had
all his tires