Sunday, January 28, 2007

a little something I read

It was life that would give her everything of consequence.
Life would shape her,
not We.
All we were good for
was to make the introductions.

~Helen Hays

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

The Big Guy

Not really big, but huge. Not really a guy, but a beast. Washed-up, retired biker. Covered in tattoos and old track scars. This guy comes complete with AA key chain and NA earrings. A regular at the one of the office I love. Diabetic, overweight, has had open heart surgery three times-he practically has a zipper down the front of his chest. Realistically, he's gross. Not smelly gross, but heavy breathing, can't take care of himself gross. I have to work on his feet- which are covered with calluses so thick they are practically bullet proof. In the midst of working on his feet he'll sometimes ask me if I see any open wounds on the bottom of them. Why? Because his belly is so huge he can't get to them. His toe nails are long...really long.

We make small talk, usually. Or rather he makes inappropriate comments, I listen and swallow the bile that splashed the back of my throat.

"If my wife would touch me the way you do, I might like her."
"If your boyfriend doesn't like you leaning over him, I'll be your boyfriend."
"I like to watch your mouth when you talk, heh heh."
"I like when you're rough on me, I wish you would just spank me instead."
"I'm just gonna close my eyes and picture you doing that- only wearing something else, like nothing."


There is a fine line here. I see a number of male comments who flirt harmlessly and sometimes shamelessly, I would have to say he is more shameless. The dilemma with people like this is you will have to ask yourself how much of a good sport you are. If you go along with the flirting (and you know it's harmless), you take the risk of the client taking advantage of you, taking a comment too far or even their actions too far. You may know it's harmless, but sometimes they forget themselves. However if you shut them down completely, act like a prude, act like you have never heard a joke or can't take a joke, you risk losing a client, and their word of mouth.
He is also a close personal friend of the doctor I work for an respect- who is nothing like this guy at all.
I try to humor the doctor and the big guy.

Last week was my birthday. I was running about 10 mins- not usually a big deal. If I am late I will go over into the next hour and not penalize you. So I started him at ten after. I finished him at 5 after. 55 mins. The average massage is about 55 mins. It is virtually impossible to give everyone a whole hour, for the fact being that the room needs to be cleaned before the next client comes in (sheets changed, aired out and therapist must wash-up).
In that 55 mins, the big guy was extra friendly. Asking what my boyfriend was gonna give me(wink-wink) for my special day, he had some suggestions. At this point, I quickly shut him down, was curt to him and all signs of friendliness ceased to exist. He was not happy
In fact he was so unhappy, he actually went home thought about how unhappy he was, and how he was actually jipped out of 5 mins out of his time.
He called and complained.
"She was late. She rushed the whole thing. She was rude and unprofessional. She told me to hurry up and get dressed, because she has to keep schedule."
Lie. Lie. Lie.
How was this situation resolved? He was given another massage with an extra 60 mins for free.
Which meant I had to work on him for two hours on the next visit for which I was only paid for one.
The doctor offered him this, without even talking to me first. And I felt bad. Why?
Because I like this doctor, and at this point I could tell him my side of the story, but the fact of the matter is, he has know that client longer than he has known me. AND I WAS running late that day, I'm sure it is entirely possible that I could have said those things. But is it entirely impossible for him to say the things he said?
My doctor didn't say a whole lot when I told him. I think he just honestly believes he is harmless and I am sure he is.
He's just an asshole. (the big guy, not the doctor)
I hate being in this position. I feel like I should be peeling this guy grapes and bowing to his fucking feet. He thinks he got his way. He thinks he owns me and got me in trouble. And in a sense, I do feel owned and chained to that position. I like it there, but must continue to work on him to work there.
For the three days after the incident, I work up at 5 am, said goodbye to my other half, and went back to sleep. Only to be woken up by nightmares of this guy holding me down with one hand, pissing on my back. Or being held down by my neck why his fat bloated naked body crushed me. On that Friday I was certain I screamed so loud while tussling with sheets , that I woke myself up and scared the cats off the bed.
Afraid of this guy?
This pisses me off even more. There have only been 2 men I have been afraid of my entire life, and I am not about to add him to the list.
So, I have to go into that room every Tuesday and face my fears. Laugh at him under my breath and try to get through this, alone.
All for what? Because he complained about me?

On a lighter note, I have resorted to taking pictures of him with my phone while he is unaware, then forwarding it to all the people I know, who will laugh with me, or sympathize. At this point I can't really decide what I want more. And it makes me feel less alone. It's totally unethical, but I can't help it. I'm just done. And besides, they are only pictures of his feet or his back or the top of his head- never the face.
I swear I haven't done this before.
Anyone want to see? I'd be more than happy to forward you the pics- for free!
only temporary as I see it. Soon enough I'll never have to see him again. Or not soon enough.

That's where I'm at.
I already skipped a week.

I don't want to do this anymore.
The job.
Not the writing.


Sunday, January 07, 2007

31: The rebirth of Polly Positive

This week no one talked within the walls of my therapy room. Everyone was in fact very, very quiet. This is not always good for me.
As much as I like my own peace and solitude from time to time, when I have patient after patient who is tight-lipped (and with good reason- after all it is your time) I sort of lose my mind. My paranoia kicks in and I will pick apart anything I can think of.
So this week, I mostly thought about my birthday.

Tomorrow I turn 31. It's not a big deal. At one point I wanted it to be, and then I promptly changed my mind. I usually do a big dinner, me, my significant other and my close friends. This is the first year in ten that I did not plan a dinner. Instead I am seeing everyone separately. It just worked out that way. It's fine with me. It gives me more to do. I actually like going out to dinner and having witty dinner conversation, cocktails, people watching and all that jazz, but it's very hard to do that with mixed company. I think I am better at one-on-one conversations.
I am digressing.
Anyway, because no one has been talking this past week, I have no good stories, only my own- which isn't good by far.
This may sound stupid and me talking about it makes me feel even stupider.
I have no idea what I want.
I mean I know what I want in the grand scheme of things, a successful career, husband, child, home, a job I like, pets at my feet, a degree I can use, more time to write, more time to read, more time to learn and so forth and so forth.
OK. May be I do know what I want, in life. But ask me what I want for dinner, or for Christmas, or for my birthday and I come up empty. It's hard for me.
Maybe I am just not that materialistic and that makes me feel like less of a person because I can't think of anything I want that can be bought in a store. Is something wrong with me? Anyone else would have a list at any given time. I can walk into a shop see a sweater and buy it, though have no plans to go out and look for something specific- ever.
Why the fuck am I even complaining. I am beginning to think this post is ridiculous.

I think I am just slightly annoyed and irritated to be asked repeatedly what I want for my birthday. I know, I'm a dick. People care for me and take the time to ask me genuinely what its is that my heart desires, and I complain. Asshole.

Yesterday I had a massage at a fancy-ass spa, and when Nathan my masseur asked me what I wanted to work on today, I was nervous, not because I was about to be massaged by a young guy ( who was CLEARLY gay, so save your oohs and ahhs), but I was almost paralyzed with confusion, to have to tell some perfect stranger exactly what it is I wanted. I managed. But not after my nervous banter for the first 15 mins of the session.


I love you, friends and family...
stop asking me what I want, please.
I can't even decide what color underwear to put on in the morning.

At the risk of sounding pretentious or unrealistic or maybe optimistic, even a bit sappy this is what you can get me.

In a big box, please fill with the following:
Good conversation, an ear you will lend me in my rants and raves, your loyalty, your love, your kindness, your ability to laugh and make me laugh as well. How about french toast at 10:30pm and wine at 9:00am? I would also like some fucking optimism in times of despair. Sing out loud with me in off-key tones when I am driving way too fast.
I want what you cannot buy. I want ease. I want comfort.

But if you can find me Earth Wind and Fires greatest hits, that would be nice as well.

I'm off to bed now.
So long, 30.

Happy Birthday to me.

Monday, January 01, 2007

Happy New Year

Happy New Year, everyone.
Thanks to all who occasionally pop in to see if I have posted anything new.
I feel like such a lame ass.
I will spare you all the other ideas I had for years resolutions, and just say this: I will write one post every week.
It's good for me, keeps me sane...
I think.

Saw a lot of interesting clients this past year, most of whom I should have written a post about. So to condense the some-odd number of clients and stories I have heard and experienced, here is a list of lessons and stories my clients have taught me in 2006.

1.) Men over the age of 60 have a really hard time being naked without their socks.
Seriously, I massage a lot of elderly gentlemen and they all have this thing about leaving their socks on when being worked on. They are usually wearing black or brown (or sometimes one of each depending on how good their eye sight is these days) and when asked to remove them, they usually decline profusely. It's weird. Or I think it is. They have no problem being stark naked under a crisp white sheet, but the thought of having their feet seen makes them feel squeamish. Whatever. I can live without working on feet.

2.) If you cry in my room, most likely I will cry with you.
I can't help it, I'm a wimp. I have not conquered the act of being a rock in front of those I love or those I hardly know. If you start the water works, my faucet runs at full blast, incredibly moved by people and their stories and their lives. Don't get me wrong, I won't sit their and sob, but I will wipe tears quietly away from my face as you try to discreetly do the same. A lot of you can't even tell because your eyes are usually closed- embarrassed is my guess. But don't be. It's a lot easier to just let it go and ball your eyes out, just like it's a lot easier for me to let my eyes well-up and overflow, than it is to try and be something I am not- emotionally vacant.

3.) Washing with water is not the same as washing with soap AND water.
People will swear up and down that they have showered before running to their massage appointment, yet they are filthy. Their hair is wet, they smell of deodorant, and some times they are even damp behind the knees, or around the neck line. I am not fooled. There is usually the unmistakable telltale slime and grit lying right on top of their skin. It's not really visible to the eye- at first. But add a little oil and lotion and before you know it you are pushing around grey and dingy lotion all over someones body. Ever taken a quick 2 min shower? Do yourself (and your masseuse) a favor, use some fucking soap. It doesn't take that long to squirt a little Lever 2000 into a loofah for a quick wash, rinse and repeat.

4.) When a client asks you if you know Jesus, lie and say you do (when you clearly don't), then quickly change the subject.
Clients don't really want to hear about your lack of faith or in depth science background when inquiring about Christianity. All they want to know is YES you believe in God, or NO you do not. This way they can quickly pass judgement on you. I seriously don't have a problem talking about religion, but I won't bring it up in a therapy room. I have been apologised to on a few occasions for the client making ME feel uncomfortable, but clearly it is I that makes YOU uncomfortable if my answer is "no, I do not know Jesus." I have been know to say Oh God! Oh God! on some occasions, is that the same?

5.) 10 units of classes while working full time is a bit too much.
My last post was in October, and before that...3 months prior? I took on way too much and even though I kicked some serious ass in academics, others things suffered- like this blog. I really missed writing, but I had to prioritize. And when I had to decide between writing or talking to someone I haven't chatted with in a while, well I have to admit I am fond of a human voice or just doing nothing or saying nothing. It was a daunting and very trying 16 weeks. But now it is over. A good friend and client said to me last week, "don't forget about the you stuff, too." I did. But it's starting to come back to me.

6.) If you build a practice elsewhere, your clients will follow.
I am actually in the midst of changing offices. I totally dragged my feet on it because I thought that seriously none of my clientele would follow me and I would have to start all over again from scratch. I was wrong. Of course I did find another office within the vicinity of my old office, but I was shocked at the number of clients who actually took the time to fill out new paperwork, meet with a new doctor, and stay loyal to me as a client. I am so lucky. My old boss and old office can burn in Hell (if there is one. see #4) . I stuck around for too long while too many checks bounced, too many inappropriate comments were maid and too many clients were lost. I'm taking ever last client of his with me who wants to move, and he can't touch me. Muthafucka! Up yours!

7.) Marriage means very little to most.
What I mean is, I know of 3 married couples out of my giant list of married clients who DO NOT cheat. The rest do. And married people usually cheat with other married people or people in relationships. Why? Because they know they hold no serious obligation to the person they are having an affair with. They both know that they probably won't leave their significant others, so this makes it safe. Pretty sad. I can't offer advice here. It seems like it does not matter if you screw his/her brains out every night, or make a lovely dinner, be their all, or their's usually just not enough. And they all talk about it.

8.) A flaky mole= bad.
I have seen some pretty funky skin conditions in my 6 years of practice, but just recently I have seen and increase of skin cancer. Ewwww is right. If you have mole or birthmark that is uneven around the edges or discolored (like freckled), if is oozing or FLAKY (read flag! siren! ding ding ding!) have it checked out, because you know what? It ain't good, I am not going near it!

9.) Do not take you problems home with you, or try real hard not too.
This does not just go for my profession, obviously. Trust me though, leave your junk at work, or on the freeway. Drive around the block for ten minutes until you feel better, but don't bring it into your home or let it be the first thing you drop into your partners lap. It just creates problems and fights and arguments, that have nothing to do with you or him really, just frustration over your shitty day and them not being able to fix it. I am still working on this.

10.) Tipping and gratuity
Do it. I will tell you this, I will treat you a lot better if I know after working my ass off on you, that you are going to leave a little something for my effort. I will even let it slide the first couple of times if you forget or don't. But after that, prepare for less effort, less time, less attention to all your special needs.
It's the truth, sorry.

You see, you didn't miss too much.
I'm still planning on moving, and will still keep doing massage for as long as I can or as long as my hands hold out.

Hope all your holidays were merry and bright. Thanks for sticking around.
More to come in 2007.


Sunday, October 01, 2006

fast forward

It is now October and my last post was sometime at the begining of June. A lot has happened. I don't know where to start so, I guess I'll start with today.
A few hours ago, I came home from San Louis Obispo. This is actually my second trip there since my last post. Last time was a long awaited vacation. This time a scouting trip, sniffing out the town for what it's truly like when I am not vacationing. Relocation is the goal.
Somewhere North of this city. Somewhere, where you don't have to sit in traffic for an hour and a half to go 30 miles. Somewhere, where you can go to a movie theater on an actual date and not have to worry about the homie and his primo in front row having a conversation in full-blast, in a cinaplex where the staff is either too young or too stupid to do anything. I am looking for a city where I don't run into people I used to know (wink-wink) and can visit all sorts of new places I love and not have to avoid. I am hoping a new town will bring a peaceful nights' rest without the neighbors having a party or a fight or bad guitar lessons being practiced over and over. I am anticipating new sunsets, new sunrises, the kind that make you glad to be alive. I want a little coffee shop I can walk to in the morning before work , and have the guy at the counter know me well enough to start the actual order before I even get to the head of the line.
I want a small house with a yard for the cats, soft grass to walk on when watering the lawn. I want to be happy when I get up and be happy when I get home. I want to go to a job with new faces, new clients- just for the change alone. All of this and more. I am hoping, wishing, praying (and know that those who really know me know that I do not pray), that SLO will be all of these things.
Something to look forward to, moving.
This isn't the first time I have thought of leaving the LA area. When I was 19 I almost moved to Monterey, Ca. I even put a small deposit on a studio apartment- no one actually knows that. And then I changed my mind. I was really scared all of a sudden, and the fearlessness that had consumed me in the moment suddenly escaped every pore of my body and I realized I knew no one there. I realized I was running away from the present and the things that were important and the things I needed to resolve- in person. Thank God, I stayed. I was too young, too naive and too impulsive. I don't regret it.
4 years ago, I almost moved to Seattle, WA. This time I was in love and willing to follow/pursue/chain myself to the person I was in love with. STUPID. My family was freaked. I was going to move, well... because he was going to move! I went there on two trips, didn't really feel as if it fit, but was willing to go anyway. A new city is always good, right? Well, an intercepted email changed everything. Maybe not so intercepted... I was sent a reply (by mistake?) of his plans not to move to Seattle at all, but to take a job in Paris- and move there alone. Sounds like a bad episode of Sex and the City. He wasn't even going to tell me, or maybe this was his way because he couldn't verbally say it to me. Lots of men can't handle crying, but I digress. Seattle. Bleah. I hate that place for a lot of reasons.
So, sometime between then and now I have been kicking around the idea of fleeing SoCal. But this time I am not running or following, just going. And I have company.
I know I sound crazy. People literally risk their lives to be here. I am 25 mins from the beach, an hour from the mts and desert and 5 mins from my parents. ALL my friends live here. ALL of family members (the important ones) live here. And I want to move?
Yeah. I think I do.
If I don't leave, I'll never know what it was like to live outside my safety net and I am finally at an age where I can do it, and have very little regrets if it doesn't work out. But I think it will.
A small nest egg sits quietly under a mattress. I am leaving. Soonish.
Being in SLO this weekend was like wearing the best pair of jeans you have ever bought for yourself. The kind that you second guessed over and over again because of their price. You new what you would have to give-up if you purchased them,
but they just felt so damn good, you had to do it.
So you go without a few things you love for a while to wear this perfect pair that cost you, well... a lot. But you know from here on out, it was the best purchase you could have made, you will take them everywhere, they will go with everything and you will be happy you got them, everyday.


Tuesday, June 06, 2006


I've been a little gloomy lately- hence the no new posts.
Some people hit road bumps and keep on driving, others (like myself) hit a road bump, lose a tire, break a windshield, forgets she didn't bring a purse and wait quietly for a tow truck.
I'm talking about my little ol' job here.
I like what I do.
I meet lots and lots of neet people.
I've just grown a little stagnant, I think.
I work for two different doctors.
One of them hits on everything in a skirt, drives a hummer, bounces paychecks from time to time, and talks endlessly about how him having "no money" then shows pictures to his clients of his newly remodeled cabin. He's a jem, that guy.
Why do I stay? Well, the answer is simple: the clientele can't be beat.
I have been in that office for five years. I have done my time and in that time have established a HUGE client base. I usually book 2-3 weeks in advance, this means good luck getting an appointment if you are hurting tomorrow, probably won't happen. It's nice. It's job security. But that office sucks my will to live. My clients rule, my boss is an ass. The drive is somewhat short, but I'm in a box of a room all day long. 9 hours of darkness with twinkling candles.
I am also the queen bee at this office, I get booked first- no matter what.
The pay is pretty decent- with lots of room for more, depending on how many clients I can physically do.

My other boss is a saint. A totally professional family kinda guy, his wife even works in the front office. He's sweet and incredibly smart. My room in that office is airy. It has a window-natural daylight! Woo hoo! But I have no clientele at this office. Why? I am only there 1 day a week. It's hard to build a strong clientele when you are only offering 1 day for people to come and see you. The pay is excellent- when I have clients that is. The drive is slightly longer, but the ride is better.
The clients are fine, but pretty much all bushiness. They hardly know me.

I'm whining, I can feel it.
And really, this does not matter at all. What matters is I need to make the most of this profession. I need to find the joy and delight I once had and care about EVERYONE I work on, not just the people who are my favorites.

Here is a little known secret about being a massage therapist that no one talks about:
It wears you out.
Not just physically, but mentally, emotionally, spiritually...
You give all day. Give therapy, give advice, give your heart, give encouragement, give hugs, give humor, give touch, give yourself.
And the at then end of the day, you are spent. Tapped out. Done. Fin. The End.

Any body out there? I need some advice. I am deathly afraid I am going to be one of those people who keeps changing professions every 10 years- and is that so bad?
I am taking a vacation at the end of this month hoping I will have a new out-look on, well...everything.
If one thing in your life is crappy, everything else will seem to follow.


Wednesday, March 29, 2006

The Ex Factor

Last weekend I saw a ghost.
Sunday, while walking into my local watering hole with my significant other, I saw my ex with HIS significant other.
It happened pretty fast, he saw me and looked the other way, I did the same.
My first thought was, "awwww man! why today? I just wanna watch the rest of the George Mason game and grab a bite to eat."
We walked in and to the back of the bar. The stand-off began.
Should I stay or should I go? I won this bar in the divorce, had I not?
It made for an uncomfortable situation.
Even though this guy is ancient history, even though I don't care for one second where he is, who he's with and what he's doing, it was still awkward.
I was instantly confronted with my past and where I have been. It seemed like ages ago. Another life, another time. Who was that girl then, and who am I now?
And then I had an epiphany: What type of ex girl friend am I?

I have decided- along with the advice of my trusty clientele, that ex girlfriends (and boyfriends) fall into certain categories.

What type of Ex Girlfriend are you? How do you see your Ex's?

I will love you forever- or until I find someone else
Long after you have broken-up, you still proclaim that he was the "the one."
You are mildly obsessed with what you were, what you had and what you did.
That is until the next sucker comes along, then it's, "what was his name again?" You are in love with the idea of being in love and will live this way for the rest of your life.

We didn't work out- you need to not exist
You are dead to me. I see no reason to be your friend, be friends with your friends, or even admit that I cared for you for one second. The idea of knowing I let you touch me makes me want to scrub my skin with steel wool. I hate you so much I might even pull some voodoo bad karma shit on you, because it would be so worth it. Stay away from my city, my state, my life. Oh and p.s. FUCK YOU!!!

What's wrong with still being friends? (a.k.a.- The Bad Penny)
You won't go away, you keep turning up. Months, maybe even years after the initial break-up, you can't let go. In fact you have convinced your ex that you and he can still be friends because after all, you do have some history and care for each other. You email just say hello. You'll think of something funny that happened to you or a link he might enjoy, and straight to the laptop you go. You contact him at inappropriate times just to say " wanted to wish you a Happy Valentine's Day. Remember that time you and me were such and such..." all this despite the fact he has moved on, but you haven't. You'll even make it a point to share the same interests as he, just so you still have that something in common. You have mutual friends. Bing! Another reason to stay in touch. There's just one problem: you are completely guilty of ulterior motives. Innocent? I doubt it. Waiting like a spider you are. He just might need me.... eventually.

We are better at sex, not relationships
It's over. Oh well. At least there's still sex. After all, it's the only thing we did right. Why screw that up?
So let's just agree to occasionally have sex during the week, but keep the weekends open for "real" dating.
This can go on for months or years depending on how long the two of you stay single.

We're cool
You were together and now you're not. But everything is peachy. You have someone, he has someone. You can co-exist in the same places, be casual and polite without having to to hide under the table. You can introduce each other as friends and be sincere. There are no ulterior motives. You didn't work out for a reason and you are genuinely happy to have moved on.

Crazy says, what?
He thinks you're crazy? Hell, you'll show him crazy. You make a complete ass of yourself every time you see him. You'll cry, or talk shit as loud as you can, making a scene for the whole world to see you. This usually involves alcohol and the friends he hated anyway- which by the way, even they are annoyed by you. Despite the fact you do this, you make it a point to stalk him at every corner and every turn. These places include his bar, his house, his hang-outs. You track him down just so he can see how totally insane you are. Admit it, you live for this.
I have to go now, he's leaving for work in 10 minutes.

The Invisible Woman
You avoid him like the plague. You have fallen off the face of the earth. There is not a sign of trace of you. You forfeited all your places and even your city just to avoid him. It's almost like you were never there. In the rare case you do see him, into a hedge or a public bathroom you will hide, texting your best friends to come and check it out, just to make sure the coast is clear.

So, this is an ongoing list.
Feel free to contribute, because everyone is an ex something. I'm not quite sure where I fall into all this. Some happy medium between wishing you were dead and being somewhat cool?

In the end, we stayed for the remaining 15 minutes of the game, and then walked right out the front door. He didn't look at me, I didn't look at him.
Who cares? It doesn't even matter anymore. Who was between him and now? A whole other life and a history
and a future.
When you look at someone and feel absolutely nothing for a person despite the fact you shared years together, you realize just how far you've come. Or maybe even acknowledge the fact that maybe he didn't mean as much to you as you thought.
Not a big fan of Ex's, at all.
But I can share a city with him... I guess.