“It’s grind day, from Friday, to next Friday / I been up straight for nine days; I need a spa day.”
-Big Sean, “Clique”
The first major treatment Deepak and I went for was the “Red Flower Treatment.” Doesn’t that sound pleasant? Being a violet myself, I always gravitate toward floral motifs.
But upon entering our treatment areas, we were a bit surprised to be greeted with a full Vichy shower setup.
The therapist gave me the disquieting news that this treatment was pioneered on invalids. Makes sense — you lie motionless as someone you barely know scrubs and sloughs away at your bathing suit parts. The treatment can’t help but deliver you to a state of total helplessness.
But I’m not good at helplessness! And the therapist’s words weren’t exactly helping. (Also, why are there words? I request monastic non-verbality as I defenselessly lie here while strange people take rough rocks to my virgin flesh and a loop of maddeningly non-melodic pan flutes crinkles out of the ceiling speakers.)
First, she told me the treatment facility cost $45,000 to set up. Er … OK? Inside baseball startup cost talk — while fascinating — is hardly ever conducive to a state of mind-numbed relaxation. Perhaps she mistook me for an auditor? Which only makes me wonder: What clues gave her that impression? Did she get a good fistful of Violet through my robe and determine that I have an auditor’s physique?
Then, the therapist wanted me to flip over on the table so that she could find more virgin flesh to rub raw. The Red Flower treatment is performed through a barrier of strategically placed towels, so she directed me to turn over while she lifted a linen, à la that trick you do in 8th grade science class where you yank a tablecloth out from under a fully set table and the table setting doesn’t move at all. (Inertia!)
Sure, our little flip switcharound took some maneuvering, but the over-the-top congratulations she offered when we completed the rollover without incident made me uncomfortable. “You did SO WELL! PERFECT!” she cooed and crowed.
I haven’t heard those kind of accolades since my parents … kidding! My parents never congratulated me. Thus I’m not comfortable with this level of plaudits from a glove-clad spa stranger.
Next, the therapist told me that after the treatment, I was going to be completely useless for the day. Ah, there we are. Hearing “you will be completely useless” brought me back to the comfortable realm of familiar quotes from my parents. But also … #MasseuseBrag? I was amused by the shameless braggadocio about her own skills (and bedside manner). This would be akin to my handing my script off to someone and stating, “Enjoy! Oh, by the way, before you read, head to Costco to stock up on Depends and Kleenex. This script will have you sobbing so violently and laughing so uncontrollably that you’ll be rendered completely congested and incontinent! #BawlSoHard. #CatheterClassic.”
As she finished the treatment on my backside (RIP dignity), I was beginning to wonder about all this wanton water usage. The state of California is currently in a drought so severe and protracted that the government has placed lighted reminder signs up along the highways reminding drivers, randomly, that we should always look to conserve water. At this moment, the therapist, as if reading my mind (was she absorbing my thoughts through my derrière?), noted that the runoff from our session was going to be treated and then used to hydrate the nearby golf course.
Wait, what the nut? I grew up in Augusta, Ga., for crying out loud, but I’ve never heard of this phenomenon. Why should the effluents of my no-no parts be flung upon the defenseless foliage of the fairway? And how would it work? I try to imagine the scene:
Golfer whacks the ball.
He yells “Fore!”
He bends down; upon closer inspection, he amends: “Fore … skin!”
The tee was not what it appeared to be at first glans.
Our next treatment involved diamonds …