Balance

When I left last time, she scolded me, “Lori, Lori, what is it? What are you holding on to? Just let it go. Your shoulder, it is the Berlin Wall. Let it go.”

I thought. I couldn’t tell her. I didn’t know what it was I was holding on to, but I did know my shoulders and back constantly ached. What was it?

It’s the one indulgence I have. Every month, I go to my Czechoslovakian massage therapist. She pounds, pulls, kneads, massages me. She imparts her wisdom. She gives advice. She tells stories. She always greets me with a kiss and sends me off with a hug. It’s the best hour of the month.

Today I rushed from work to get there by 7. BART was delayed; the city was crowded; I shuffled in, mumbling apologies for being late. “You are so beautiful. Look at you. Let me try your shoes.” I laughed, undressed, and slipped under the flat coolness of the cotton sheet.

She began her magic. What would my body tell her today that my words didn’t?

“So, my dear Lori. How’s life? What is new with you?” I laughed. “See, you know how to laugh. Some people, they laugh from their ears. Not you. It is from your stomach. It is from your soul. So, dear, what is new?”

Work’s good. Stressful, but good. I’m working long hours.

“You are happy. You are relaxed. No more Berlin Wall. What else, Lori dear?”

Well, I’ve met a boy. In fact, I met him on the day that I last came to you. At the party. I wore a skirt, like you suggested.

“See, Seka always knows. You have good legs. No hide them with the pants. Tell me.”

I talked for a while, then drifted into that state of barely consciousness as she manipulated my body, pulling me deeper and deeper away from this world.

“Sleeping beauty….” I felt her lightly touch my shoulders. “My dear, my sleeping beauty. It’s time to get up. Slowly, dear, slowly.”

I tried to open my eyes. I really did. The weight of happiness, of relaxation, of bliss, kept them closed. I stretched. My back cracked. My muscles unfolded. I dressed.

“Lori, dear. You are balanced. Yes, your energy, all different ways. Everywhere. But you are balanced. No more Berlin Wall. It is a good thing.”

Yes, Seka, it is.

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