So, for my birthday PJ gave me a spa card. As in, I should go to that place, take off my clothes, lie down and let a babe run her hands all over my fine body. Hmmm.
Oya, get the pop corn and coke, serious gist wants to start.
I started laughing when I saw the card because for many years now, friends have been asking me to “follow dem’ to massage parlours and I have always passed. If I have body pain, me, I will do exercise. Chikena.
But then she came and dropped this on my table.
Well, my mama taught me never to refuse a gift and so after dilly dally-ing for over a week, she bundled me into her car and drove me to the spa in GRA Ikeja.
She gave me the gift card because for over a month before my birthday, I had been complaining about this pain in my lower back and shoulder. So to the spa she sent me.
Wait o, I am not sure whether I should mention the name of the spa. Will that be free advert? Lol.
Anyway, from the office to the spa, The Mayor was just laughing. So, I am finally going to get a massage. As we waited for the lights to change at Maryland, I decided to send a message to my friend
Me: bros, guess where I dey go?
Me: Lunch ke. You too like food
Friend: Me I dey hungry. So, where you dey go?
Me (rolling my eyes) No. Spa without R as in Massage parlour.
Friend: Massage parlour ke. I been think say you be born again Christian
Friend: Wetin be ehen? When dem dey massage you, you no sabi say you go react. Is that a Christian thing?
I heaved a sigh and stopped chatting. I didn’t even know why I buzzed him.
3 years earlier while on a writing fellowship in the US I had joined a yoga class. When I put a photo on facebook, this same friend had called me and spent one hour telling me how Yoga is Spiritism and devilish.
Now, massage, too, is not for Christians.
But I was not going back. Mind was made up. PJ had paid and #Man’sNotACoward.
I arrived there and discovered that she had paid for a Hammam something-something Moroccan bath as well as a Swedish massage. The ladies at the counter said they didn’t do the Hammam something-something on that day so they offered me a Vitamin C scrub.
First, they sat me in this dimly lit and nicely scented room, which they called the waiting area.
Then they took me into another room (this one was dimmer than the first sef) with four reclining beds abi seats. The beds had a small chooku-chooku mat in the middle. I sat down and waited.
Then my masseuse appeared and led me to the massage room. I tried not to make eye contact. Making eye contact means you see her face, seeing her face means you start thinking, ah na fine girl o. And thinking like that can lead to very un-christian-ly reactions, gerrit?
The room was simple and clean with a bed in the middle. It measured about 10 x 10 with a shower stall.
She asked me to take off my clothes and put on a black pant. (See the pant below.)
She left the room as I began to undress. I was done in minutes with my clothes folded and placed on one of the chairs, neatly like my mama taught me.
She came in and asked me to lie face down on the bed.
Then I felt something cold as she began to apply the scrub. The babe was a good scrubber. After my back was done she asked me to turn around. I turned, eyes closed and my mind far away as I tried to remember how I cried the day I fell into a cactus patch and got my palms and bum pierced. (story for another day.) I knew that thinking about that day would be the un-sexiest thought ever and it worked. There was no “reaction” even when she massaged my face and I sneezed.
Mayor 1 – Masseuse 0
Scrubbing done she asked me to take a warm shower.
Then when I came out, I pulled on the same black pant then tied my towel around me.
She came back and asked me to lie face down on the bed. When she took off my towel and saw my black pant she said – “You are still wearing this? I hope it’s not wet.”
I laughed and said gotcha under my breath.
She put on the AC, dimmed the light until it was very low and then she went to work and once again, to avoid stories that touch and reactions that are not Christianly, I cast my mind back to my 10 year old self, crying in a patch of cactus as it dug into my palms and my unmentionables.
She started from the left leg; the calf, the thighs, my heels, the toes before doing the other leg.
“What’s the difference between the Swedish and Deep Tissue massage?” I had asked at the beginning and she said it was the amount of pressure.
“Swedish is mostly for relaxing you. The Deep tissue can help relieve aches.”
I asked a lot of questions and I could tell that silence was preferred so I asked whether I could play music. She said yes and so I cued my Brymo playlist.
After my legs, she did my bum, lower back, spine, shoulder, and neck. Then she asked me to turn around.
Now, lying on my back, she covered my eyes with a small towel and then went to work and all the while, even though her hands were relaxing and sometimes ticklish, I focused on the cactus thorns digging into my bum.
And all was well. She finished and then just when I thought my anointing had seen me through she took my hands and beginning from my fingers began to massage my hands. That was when the anointing left Broda Toni Kan o and “reaction” started.
Mayor 0 – Masseuse 1.
Stay there and be waiting for Part 2.