Last month I was spending time with some beloved friends. I think it was book group, but it may have been wine tasting night, who the hell can remember and/or tell the difference. At any rate, we were sitting around and one of the dear friends was blathering on about something or other. It wasn’t about me, so I was quietly dying of boredom, filling out my toe tag, initialing the DNR form, that kind of thing.
I was just about to flat-line, when another friend, also dear and beloved, said, “oh, I love the massage place that’s upstairs from the bagel place.”
I stopped macrameing the noose.
“Massage?” My ears perked up.
I really like massages and when someone has a place to recommend, I take note.
“Yes,” the friend said. “Right above the bagel place.”
I knew where she meant, I’ve seen it a kazillion times during my bagel pilgrimages, and it never once occurred to me to visit.
Because in my universe, all establishments that are upstairs are either Mafia storefronts or whorehouses, possibly both.
I have no idea why I think this, although I haven’t eliminated moronism as a possibility.
“Isn’t that a brothel?” I asked innocently.
“No,” my friend said. “They do regular massages.” And then she gave me a half-sneer, which is not something that I appreciate from my dearly beloved friends.
“Then why is it on the second floor?” I asked. Apparently none of my friends have heard of this Second Floor Brothel And/Or Mafia theory, so they did not know how to respond.
“Because that’s where they rented space,” one of them answered, as though we were discussing real estate.
I wasn’t sure. On the one hand, I wanted to try the massage. The price was reasonable and it was close to bagels. On the other hand, I didn’t want to start dating my masseuse, if you know what I’m getting at. On the third hand, my hips were really tight and I needed to get a massage.
I was tense going in. I don’t know, I think it was from all the tension. I was worried that my friends were getting happy endinged in that place, after being slipped some sort of a mickey situation, and just didn’t know it. Obviously that was working out for them just fine, but I wasn’t interested.
“I’m here for a massage,” I announced when I walked in. “A regular massage,” I added meaningfully.
“Ok,” the lady said and then asked for how long. I was nervous that if I picked the wrong time, it would signify something inappropriate, so I sought guidance.
“What is the regular time for people who want a normal massage without any shenanigans?” I asked, maintaining eye contact. Eye contact that went far towards conveying that I wasn’t there for any shenanigans and that I had a possible personality disorder.
The good news is that the massage was great and didn’t have any surprises. I have to give it to the Mafia– they really know what they’re doing!