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Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
"No, really!"

My Favorite Bit of Paper Cup Philosophy

The Way I See It #76

The irony of commitment is that it's deeply liberating - in work, in play, in love. The act frees you from the tyranny of your internal critic, from the fear that likes to dress itself up and parade around as rational hesitation. To commit is to remove your head as the barrier to your life.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Things Aren't Always What They Seem ~ Or ~ A New Man in My Life

Version I ~ For the Romantic

It wasn't planned. There was no New Year's resolution made. And I never saw it coming. I've been lightning struck! Of course, enchantment doesn't typically announce itself, so perhaps I shouldn't beat myself up for failing to expect it. Suffice it to say, favored reader, it has happened and his name is Dennis. New year, new man.

He's different in many ways from other men who have fascinated me. For one thing, he is young. I've never been drawn to younger men. But he is that. Significantly younger. About 18 years younger. And good looking! He presents quite nicely in his uniform and I'm made to feel confident seeing his belt with the tools of his trade tucked into it.

What I like about him: He didn't ask me. It wasn't discussed. But when I arrived at his door, my drink was waiting. No questions asked. "Here, Leslie. This is for you." "I thank you, Dennis." I like that he took my coat off of my shoulders and put it on a hanger, not on a heap of whatever. He is thrifty with words, using only enough of them to make comfortable conversation. His voice is soft and warm in the darkened room.

I like his hands. He is a good-sized man with large hands. When he touches my skin, I feel warmth and electricity and energy and peace. I want to feel those hands on my skin again and the date has been set. Soon we shall spend time together again. Reader, this is heady stuff!

Version II ~ For the Pragmatic

I badly needed to have some body work done, for I am an aching massage addict of decades. Stephanie disappeared from Massage Envy employment and I've had a pretty miserable time trying to hit-and-miss with the several massage therapists she'd recommended. I called yet again to make an appointment and found that none of the women I wanted were available. I started to do the slow burn. I pay the membership, I want the work and I'm finding it damned inconvenient to never land on a day and time with anyone I want who is licensed to touch.

The perky little receptionist sensed my displeasure and said, "What about Dennis?" Dennis? Uh-uh. Never have had a male massage therapist work on me. I have trouble with that. It's difficult for me to even contemplate. Lacey said, "He's our best deep tissue therapist - everyone agrees on that - and that's what you said you need. He's available at the time you requested and he could give you an hour and a half." There was a pregnant silence and then someone's voice said, "OK, Dennis it is."

I stewed at my desk all day wondering how I'd handle certain parts of discussion and just precisely how much disrobing I'd want to do. You see, not only am I old, I have certain bodily things I want to explain before I offer myself up in any state of undress. Yes, I understand that most people, or at least women, have some body image issues. Many of us think our rear ends are too big or our chests are too small. But I have some more esoteric things going on and I feel a need to speak of them. Double burden: the speaking of them is also difficult.

I drove through the downpour, spontaneously landing on necessary little errands to accomplish. No, that's bullshit. I was diddling time away so I'd certainly be late. Or maybe I just wouldn't go. Of course, there'd be a cancellation fee . . . . my pecuniary sensibilities won out, I drove on and walked into Massage Envy just as he was walking into the lobby to collect me.

My romantic rendition above is all too true. He did take my coat and he did hand me my drink (of water). He does look good in the ME polo shirt and I was pleased to see his trigger bottle of massage gel in his tool belt. He was easy for me to talk with, and he didn't talk me to death like some of the women therapists. I landed in a place that was comfortable for him and comfortable for me, somewhere between completely dressed and completely undressed. And then Dennis proceeded to give me the massage that made me understand I've never actually been massaged before.

I asked him about half way through if being a man of a certain size gave him an advantage for deep tissue massage. It seemed to me that with larger hands and more strength than most women, he might have a leg up on it. He said that might be part of it. He asked me if I'd like my feet to be massaged. I laughed and said I would like that, but having kept my tights on would interfere. He said he could do it through the tights. "OK, Dennis, just don't use any massage gel. I have to go home in these tights."

My friend had been having a massage in another room while Dennis worked on me. I waited in the lobby and we chatted a bit. "Would you like to stop by my place and pick up those things I forgot to bring you?" Uh-uh. "No. I've just had a life moving experience. I'm going home to sleep the deep sleep of the innocent."

In my ears right now:

Something that charmed me: Dennis charmed me. "How did I do for you?" I told him, sincerely, he'd delivered the best massage I've ever enjoyed. "Do you think you'll lose the tights next time?" I think I will!


  1. I love the idea of receiving massage until I'm sleepy and innocent. Would love to be that 'Helpless' to someone's touch.
    Cleverly written.
    Great song.
    luh luh loved it!

  2. @ Kass ~ Did I have ya goin' there for a little minute? It could happen! It's not outside the realm of possibility. Thank you for the tip o' the hat. ;~}

    It's pretty interesting. I'm guarded and careful and reserved and not quick to give myself completely up to very many things. But on the table, once I'm comfortable with wonderful people like you, I surrender. It's a very good thing I do for myself. When I leave that body work, my head always feels well worked, too.

    Helpless is a most wonderful song. I love Neil Young singing his own work. Patti Smith's version is excellent. k.d. knocks the wind out of me with this one ~ she and her bared soul and bared feet. The lyrics to Helpless are worth looking at, IMHO. But then I'm a lyrics lover.

  3. Yes, you did have me hopefully going there for a minute (or two). It's not at all outside the realm of possibility.
    FYI - massage therapist don't look at a body like other people do. We see anatomy, trigger points, fascial restrictions, but really, we don't judge like people think we do. Of course we honor and respect your comfort level, but THIS massage therapist has a way of draping a totally undressed person so they never feel naked. Could you ever consider having only the sheet between you and your therapist?

  4. @ Kass ~ Oh, Girlfriend, you'd have had that kind of information on personal e-mail before I posted it for god and everybody.

    I know the massage therapist approaches like a doctor or anyone else in the healing arts. That's why you do what you do - you want to heal. I ALWAYS keep only the sheet between my person and the therapist's. But I choked with Dennis. Now that little disclosure makes me feel a bit vulnerable. OF COURSE it's about some gender issues I have, based on experiences in life. I don't attempt to hide that. But I'm pleased I talked to him, I'm pleased with how he dealt with me, I'm pleased he worked around my tights I NEEDED to keep on, and next time I'll have just the sheet between Dennis and me.

  5. She sings the hell out of that song! It makes me weep. The barefeet remind me of a duo I once saw playing on the streets of Denver in December. A violinist and a guitar accompaniest. The violinist was dressed in a white satin tuxedo with red piping, and he was barefoot. In Denver. In the winter. At night. Outside. The music was crushingly beautiful. Like this is.

  6. You had me going there. I was just about to warn you that he might be catching you on the rebound.

  7. @ Kirk ~ Ha! Gotcha, huh? Actually, I have the Single Woman's Bible and the first commandment is Thou Shalt Not Give a Second Look to Mr. Rebound. I've learned to identify them pretty well and quickly.

  8. @ The Badger ~ Aw, Badger, I'm glad you like k.d.'s because I know you're pretty partial to Patti's rendition. I assume you "get" her bared soul (sole), bared feet thing.

    Those Denver musicians sound talented AND intrepid to me. I've been outside in Denver in the winter at night. But I didn't make any beautiful music and I wore the red cowboy boots. That would be the difference between me and an artiste.

  9. Oh. I'm a sucker for a romance. Late night On TCM I wipe tears from eyes as Cary Grant flattens a genteel Katherine Hepburn. I see Gary Cooper in the role of Dennis my he was yar with Myrna Loy as the ever fascinating but timid Limes. A classic in the making. WV is kestral, a shy bird of prey. Keeping its distance yet swooping in for the kill much like Leslie on a unsuspecting masseuse.

  10. Great story here, Leslie. You had me hooked in the first section. For a minute I thought, oh my God, she's off with a youngun. Then all was revealed.
    A massage is probably safer, however deep. It leaves you innocent.

  11. @ Tag ~ Myrna Loy! I like that! She's perky, not overly dramatic. She's a cutie, not a beauty. And Coop? OK. That works for me. Bird of prey? I'm not sure about that one, Tag. If only I DID possess a little of the ability to swoop in for the kill sometimes . . . I'd probably make my way in life a little sturdier.

  12. @ Elisabeth ~ So I had you! You may rely upon this: a scenario such as Version I won't be happening here. There is so much in that tale that is foreign and wrong for me. But I thank you for indulging my whimsy.

  13. If you're Mryna Loy, you should hook up with William Powell (The Thin Man).

  14. @ Kirk ~ You're right! How'd Tag mess that up. Or is he just being a free-thinker? I like thin men, too.