I don’t know about other women, but I’m self-conscious about my panties. I wasn’t wearing the sexiest. They weren’t bad, just not sexy. It was a fun color, all-cotton, comfortable. I booked a massage on impulse but needed a strategy: I would undress completed so the masseuse wouldn’t see my undies.
Swedish massages are popular. But I like Shiatsu. I haven’t had one in many years. The meridian pressure point work is accurate and delicate as if someone is playing the piano on my body and pushing all the right keys. This puts my body in harmony and makes it sing.
I was in luck when I randomly called a massage parlor in Santa Monica to see if they offered Shiatsu. They said, “Yes, we have Thomas…He can do a 12:15.”
What they didn’t tell me was that Thomas was blind. Not that it matters…or does it? I didn’t know he was blind right away. I’m kind of naïve in that way.
In the waiting room, a grungy guy in track pants and wearing sunglasses walked in. He poured a cup of water from the cooler. The receptionist announced, “Ji is here for your 12:15.” He cocked his ear in my direction, grunted, and wandered off. I thought to myself “That can’t be my masseuse. He’s probably a client.“
A few minutes later, the grungy guy returns and introduces himself as Thomas. Too “cool” to remove his sunglasses, he offered his hand. I don’t do handshakes, but I shook it because he was staring at me through his shades and waited for me to respond.
I have a pretty firm grip. His was limp fish.
Oh great, a masseuse with a weak handshake. I began to worry that I booked an hour instead of half.
In the private room, Thomas suggested I’d take off heavy garments but to leave the rest on. That was strange. He was ruining my strategy. I told him I wanted to take everything off. He said “OK” and left the room.
When he returned, he switched off the lights. No dimmers. It was pitched dark. He began by brushing off excess energy down my back. Immediately, I could feel the sensation of a thousand tingling bells dancing down my spine. It was the most delicate, pleasurable wave of human touch I have ever felt. When he got to my legs, he prodded, then paused.
“Um, miss. Maybe you want to put your pants on. Shiatsu is usually done with clothes on. If I press and pull on the sheet it may come off, so it’s best to press on your clothes instead.”
I had forgotten about that aspect of Shiatsu massages. He offered to excuse himself so I could change.
“Don’t worry about it!” I said, “It’s so dark in here. Besides, aren’t you like, wearing sunglasses?”
He said, “Yes, I’m blind.”
The room was dark. He was blind. My undies are bright. My strategy couldn’t have worked out better.
What does it feel like to be massaged by a blind man? It’s a target for bad jokes for sure…No, he didn’t “grope” me like the walls. No, those round parts are not my butt or knees.
It was refreshing and freeing. He can’t see the expressions on my face, judge whether I’m old or ugly, notice stretch marks, dimples, scars or anything weird…the color panties I wear. Who cares?
Often when a person is lacking in one department, they compensate in another. Blind people supposedly have amazing hearing. It never occurred to me that they also excel in touch.
The blind can tell the difference between a one-dollar or twenty-dollar bill. That’s just based on feel. Imagine what a massage would feel like? Sensitive. Perceptive.
On the table, all kinds of thoughts crossed my mind: “What’s life like without Twitter, Facebook, and texting? The man can survive without Instagram. There’s a whole new world online. Is he missing out?”
Then I realized that this guy is lucky. He doesn’t have problems of vanity, addiction to social media and the added pressures of social opinions affecting self-image based on appearance. He has no selfies, food porn, or a hole in his soul if it isn’t displayed online. Likes/unlikes and friends/unfriends don’t mean a thing. He’s not an outcast for living off-line. The guy is free.
Everything in his head is a Snapchat. It’s a state of magic we can’t fabricate.
I wouldn’t trade in all the rich colors of this world for what he has, but I have to say that being massaged by a blind man opened my eyes.