Click here, then read.
Even though I had lentil soup for lunch today followed by a large fruit salad, I felt that it was time for another deep-tissue massage. My sciatic nerve is pinched so tight that my left leg now curls permanently up behind my neck; something had to be done.
I made the appointment and drove to Massage Envy, my current drug of choice. I hopped in and waited a few minutes propped in a corner before my regular massage therapist appeared in the lobby to get me. My therapist is a young man in his early twenties whose prominent physical features (as far as I can tell) include long eyelashes framing dark brown eyes, full lips, constant scruff on his otherwise innocent face, and strong hands. I know he doesn’t have a girlfriend because if he did, she would not let him wear the tiger-striped, 70’s style tennis shoes he prefers under his high-water slacks. Outside of the nerdiness going on below his knees, my massage therapist is a beautiful and soft-spoken man, and I call him Mark Ruffalo.
As I stripped down to my undies in the peaceful dark of Mark Ruffalo’s therapy room, I hoped that I would not feel the urge to pass wind during our session. To clear my pipes, I leaned forward and touched the floor, hoping that my intestines would give up any little ghosts hiding within, and they did not disappoint. I grabbed my t-shirt off the hook and waved it vigorously around the room, then climbed onto the table and lay face-down under the sheets—my curled and rigid left leg creating a tent-like structure over me.
Mark Ruffalo slipped into the room to the relaxing strains of Native American flute music. He had already asked me in his smooth husky voice, “What are we working on today?”, so he knew to go directly to my butt. “Sorry about the leg,” I mumbled into the face doughnut.
“Not a problem,” Mark Ruffalo said, mumbling into my knee.
As he pushed his thumbs deep into my butt cheek, working his way slowly down the back of my left thigh, I could feel my leg relaxing. Down, down, down it came; for the first time in days, my legs were parallel. The Indian flute music washed over my skin and into my brain; I was a human peace pipe being smoked by Mark Ruffalo.
Just as I was about to convert to Native Americanism, a gas bubble traveled from my stomach to my port of exit. Oh no, I thought. Mark Ruffalo is down there kneading my butt and he has no idea what danger he’s in. I quickly squeezed my cheeks together to prevent a mishap.
“Juuust relax,” purred Mark Ruffalo, putting both hands flat on my buns and pushing them around, unaware that my lentils were toiling and troubling, my fruit salad boiling and bubbling.
Pocahontas, Sacajawea, Cher, I chanted in my head. Pocahontas, Sacajawea, Cher. Don’t let me pass the great wind in front of Mark Ruffalo. Come to my rescue and I swear I will never mix lentils and pineapple again.
Most fortunately, the gas bubble retreated, and I made it through the massage without filling up Mark Ruffalo’s senses with my own personal sewer system. “We’re all done,” Mark whispered, rubbing my feet one last time and backing out of the room. “Take your time getting dressed. I’ll meet you outside.”
I lay on the table for a minute or two, counting my usual old blessings of a loving family, a rewarding career, and two silly cats at home. But my mind ran to new blessings: the fact that I can even afford massages, that I enjoy eating healthy food like lentil soup and bowls of fruit…and super-duper especially the fact that I did not rip a big fat smelly one in front of Mark Ruffalo.
I slid off the table and immediately felt my sciatic nerve begin to contract, pulling my left leg up and off the floor until my foot rested against my ear once again.
I should have known I wouldn’t be getting off that easy.