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Unnervingly Compliant

Facebook wants me to date again.

I’m gonna guess he wants some of y’all to, too.

So it’s probably not a targeted attempt to make me feel any kind of way.

But this suggestion came at a particularly vulnerable moment.

Because I was just coming out of the most awkward massage I’ve ever encountered.

And it was awkward right from the beginning.

When I walked into the dark, deserted shop (studio? massage boutique? stolen bodies warehouse?), there was not another living soul in sight. Until some shoeless dude came strolling in like a homeless guy off the street. And asked if I was Ms. Roberts.


And then took me back to a near pitch-black room and told me to undress to my level of comfort.

“I won’t touch anywhere you keep clothes on.”

I know how this works. Not my first rodeo, cowboy.

So I undressed to my level of comfort. And laid face down as told.

I’m unnervingly compliant in questionable situations.

And then shoeless dude shuffles back in, turns on some waterfall sound, and goes right to work on my shoulders.

No calming voice.

No gentle touches to ease me into it.

Just slaps some hands on my back and goes to town.

Not too long into this, I sensed he was confused by my shoulders. Particularly by the knots I carry around back there for always.

He tried some elbows. But he’s no Rogue. His normal human elbows were powerless against my shoulder knots.

So he tried a different approach.

And pulled one arm behind me.

I’ve had massage therapists try this approach before.

It wasn’t alarming.

Until he pulled the other arm back there with it. And I was lying. Face down on a table. Naked. With both hands behind my back.

Just waiting for the handcuffs.

Or duct tape.

Or rope…

I wasn’t even resisting.

I was kinda like, meh. Ok. So I guess this is happening now.

But he just kept on digging into my shoulders. With little success.

So he tried a different approach.

And pulled one hand behind my head.

And then the other.

So, here’s where I started giggling.

Because honestly? How can I not end up on The First 48 at this point?

Reporter: “Does it surprise you to learn that she didn’t even struggle at all?”

Any One Of My Friends: “Not even a little bit.”

And as I was playing this absurd scenario out in my head, he said something. And imma be real. I don’t even know what he said. But I just kind of mumbled agreement. And continued to try to stifle the giggling.

“Shhhh, Mrs. Roberts…”

(He didn’t actually say that. But I definitely heard it in my head.)

He mumbled a few more things at me. And I continued to respond in the affirmative. I swear at one point he was just throwing out nonsense words. Just to see what I’d agree to.

He finally gave up on my shoulders and moved on down to my lower parts.

Now, remember the part about not touching places where there are clothes?

I always wear panties for a massage.

Not so much because I want anyone to stay away from that area. But because I worry about slippage. Like, there’s usually a lot of oils happening and hands could end up places…

But it was irrelevant.

Because homeboy went to work on my glutes like he was kneading pizza dough.

I mean, I wasn’t complaining. Partly because of that unnervingly compliant thing. But mostly because I’m a runner and that really was some necessary work he was putting in.

It all kind of goes downhill from here, though. (Because it had been going so well up to now…)

At one point, he was on the actual table with me. Sitting on my feet. And moving my legs and hips in various directions.

There was very little actual massaging happening at this point.

About halfway through, he asks how the massage is going.

I offered a kind of noncommittal “good…?” Because, really. What kind of feedback was I gonna give at that point?

“Yeah. I thought it was.”

Huh. False confidence. Ok.

Then it was time to flip over.

So, you know how they hold the sheet up for you so you can flip in modesty?

He held the sheet up.

Like, ALL the way up.

Allll the way up over his face.

And so I flipped.

And then just laid there.

While he stood. Holding the sheet up. Over his face.


“I’m good.”

“You’re all set?”


The front side went…much less effectively than the back side.

He did some nice work stretching my right leg all over the place. And then got distracted by my head. And completely forgot about my left leg.

He did a lot of breathing with hands on my shoulders.

And massaging my jaw.

Which I was apparently clenching by that point.


I’ve never spent a massage wishing the damn time would be up.

But the relief that flooded over me when he thanked me for letting him do what he just did and then left the room was significant.

I had to dig around in the dark for several minutes to find my clothes.

A small moment of panic when I thought maybe he took them and this was just going to be where I lived now.

But I found them.

I grabbed my tiny sippy cup of water. Which did not contain GHB. As I considered after I drank it.

And managed to put everything on the right way.

Declined to rebook.

And escaped to freedom. And light.

So, yeah, Facebook.

After that nearly traumatizing event, let me go ahead and sign up for your dating app.

Because that’s bound to be a great experience for me.


Just reading and writing and running and looking for my happy place.


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