Kneads must: Me, myself and Thai
Is she between my legs?
I don't know. You tell me, is she?
I think she is.
It feels like she is.
Just have a look.
How the hell am I supposed to have a look when your eyes are closed?
I can't open my eyes. Wouldn't that be rude? Aren't I supposed to be in a meditative state of mind?
How are you supposed to meditate with this woman between your legs?
This is why I need you to tell me what she's doing.
Listen, dumb-ass, I can't tell you anything if you don't crack open an eyelid.
What is the point of having you, a sixth sense, if you have to see everything in order to interpret it for me?
Well, I can tell you that her foot is on your inner thigh and it's working its way towards your …
I should have known better.
I mean, I have been to Thailand and had massages in Bangkok, so I should have known better than to walk into a Thai massage parlour and randomly order something off the menu the way a novice foodie might order carpaccio in a fancy restaurant and hope that it's a variation of focaccia.
There were many telltale signs that should have alerted me to the fact that this was not going to be a regular massage but, having been to a few Thai massage parlours, I was willing to give my therapist the benefit of the doubt.
First, she led me away from the massage rooms towards a different section of the parlour. A dimly lit section, awash in soft red light.
Then, there was a mattress on a wooden floor and there were four other mattresses, all separated by gossamer curtains on drawstrings. There were no massaging tables.
And, lastly, she made me get out of my clothes and into a pair of cotton pyjamas.
I crawled on to the bed and instinctively lay on my belly.
"No no. Lie on back, please."
What the what?
I did as instructed and my snarky inner voice had a whale of a time for 60 minutes.
Ah Suks, you have to appreciate the irony, don't you?
You hate it when people hug you without permission and here's this strange woman using her whole body to massage your whole body.
What do I have to do to get you to shut up?
I'm not going anywhere, sunshine, so don't you even think about distracting me with the garden variety existential bullshit you have been tossing my way of late.
The music wasn't helping my situation. It was a mix of panpipes and shrill flutes straight out of a soft-porn flick.
Doesn't this music sound like the soundtrack to a movie? Oh, what is it?
I have no idea. Terminator 2 maybe?
Ha, nice try. No, wait, it's coming to me. Is it? Yep, it is. Emmanuel.
Wasn't that the one set in Bangkok?
I don't know.
The one with the Thai lady who did rather interesting things with a ping-pong ball?
Oh shut up, SHUT UP, you stupid inner voice.
I wonder if all Thai women are similarly, erm, gifted.
I'm going to get you back for this. I don't know how, but you're not getting away with this.
Oh, but I am. Have you noticed that her hands are now massaging your pelvic area?
I have no idea how any man could go through this process without getting turned on. Unless, of course, there are different procedures for men, though the higher than normal number of male clients in the waiting room led me to believe that we all received the same treatment.
When I eventually got over the fact that my therapist was using her body to massage me, I realised she was doing a great job.
The unusual techniques employed, which included her wrapping my legs around her hips (one at a time), sitting straddled across my butt (when I was on my stomach) and then sitting behind me and cradling my head in her lap, had somehow stretched almost every muscle in my body and had even managed to silence my inner voice. Well, almost.
As I was leaving, I racked my brain to try to remember how to say thank you in Thai.
"Sawadeekah," I said triumphantly.
My therapist giggled girlishly as she said: "You say hello."
Smooth Suks. Real smooth. You want to try asking her about ping-pong balls?