Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Man In A Jar


The day after my dad died, a massage therapist who made a pass at my sister, came over to the house with five jars of mayonnaise, five cans of nuts, and a jar of mustard. People forget condiments in times like these, he said. I'd written a story about our experiences with him, titled "Man In A Jar" about both the good and bad times in the Bella Day Spa (close to the name of the place he worked) and his strange ways. We'd gone there on a referral the year after my mother died. We got our first massages on Christmas Eve -- Mike (the name I gave him in the story), had been incredibly kind. He and my sister had a great rapport and spoke about angels, about God things -- Mike claimed the Lord had helped him put down the bottle, no AA necessary and my sister related how prayer had helped her cope with my mother's death -- they'd been exceptionally close and her heart broke as she saw my mother's health deteriorate. Despite his diminutive physical size (5'1 and relatively thin), he gave a powerful massage, far better than the only other one I'd ever had by a woman who claimed she needed to light more pink candles around me to get rid of my negative energy. Babe, I wanted to say, you're going to need a lot more pink candles to even tap into that dark morass of pain. All that pink made me even more nervous.

We continued to go to Mike, but one day he did something that would most assuredly violate the massage therapist/client code of ethics and my sister came out of the room, madder than a hornet. I had been grading papers in the waiting room and looking at candles for sale. My favorite one smelled like men's cologne. The label read "Man In A Jar." I bought it, and Mike came out of the back of the spa with two pinwheels. These are for you both, he said. You have such child-like spirits. Pinwheels, besides being children's toys, keep pests away from gardens. Certain animals don't like the vibrations. I never thought we'd see Mike again, particularly after my sister said she'd like to shove the pinwheel up his ass. Because my dad died in a plane crash, lots of people heard about it on the news and radio, including Mike. He had our address on file at the spa and brought over the massive amounts of condiments. I'm not much for mayonnaise, but I have to say that the nuts came in handy. I suppose they always do.

Michelle's Spell of the Day

"Wish in one hand, shit in the other, see which fills up first." Billy Bob Thornton, Bad Santa

Cocktail Hour

Drinking movie suggestion: Bad Santa, one of the few Christmas movies that I find endlessly cheering. I'd also suggest that you start listening to Dolly Parton's "Hard Candy Christmas."

Benedictions and Maledictions

You're Always Here Even When You're Not

I thought about writing you a letter
like they tell you in AA -- Dear So and So,
I am sorry for getting drunk and ruining
your life. I forget what step that is -- all
I have seem to have done is the first one,
admitting that my life is unmangeable,
and yet I do, manage it. I am on speaking
terms with paradox and its little friend,
not in this fucking lifetime. Maybe e-mail
is better, one of those stupid group ones
that starts and ends in the same place --
You will not give a shit about this, but I
think it's funny and it beats nothing. Let's
pretend for the sake of argument that
I wanted to clear the decks, where
would I begin? Love is not enough?
Maybe I should consider the audience.
That's as good a place to begin as any.

14 comments:

Jerry said...

Why'd you do it, Kramer?

Kramer said...

Come on, Jerry. I'm only human. My act stunk and I lashed out at the guy. He was black. I used the "N" word. I'm sorry. Can you forgive me, Jerry?

Jerry said...

Yeah, but don't do it again.

Special said...

Was it a Mason-Dixon jar, Michelle?

Xenia Onatopp said...

Paradoxically, I've always had trouble with small massage people. I always seem to get better leverage when I'm on top.

Oscar winner said...

RIP Robert Altman. M*A*S*H* helped make a whole generation of rebels. We needed it.

Peter Kane Dufault said...

Excellent poem about "nothing," Michelle.

Laura said...

A massage sounds great right about now, although, not by Mike.

Paul said...

Cajun Queen
TigerElectric
FoxyLady
Mushroomcheeses
Loveaintenough
Goodtimesroll
NastymanMike
Pinwheeltwirl
RockonRockOut
OMightyIsis
Shazammmmmmmmmm
R2 C2!

Anonymous said...

I can't believe he brought over mustard and mayo. Very interesting. I've never heard of anyone doing that before. Usually its some kind of casserole or maybe a dessert.

Jon said...

"People forget condiments in times like these." I line worthy of David Sedaris or Anne Tyler. That's the kind of person I want to hang around with on Armeggedon morning.

Cheri said...

I have a free massage waiting for me... The man who is giving it to me wrote a book that I have sitting on my desk right now and my gramma can't wait for me to meet him. she thinks that its going to "jump start" my career if I meet a real author. if she only knew..

The Walking Man said...

Dear Michelle,
That step is somewhere near the middle of the twelve. I'm not sure and don't really care because I find Valium and Music I have heard a thousand times or more a much better substitute than the nuts at AA.

is there such a thing as a paradox other than two doctors who are more concerned with making their practice more profitable than it already is?

Pink is not your color and no color removes distress and pain anyway because colors reside outside of the body, so therefor the key to removing pain of the mind and spirit and bullshit must reside somewhere inside. But a good massage can remove some muscular kinks and make you week in the knee's but then and again so can good, not even great, but good sex.

I found that the way to remove the misery and pain is to feel it, feel every knook and corner of it and then throw some ham and mayo with mustard on it and eat it, then take a good shit and it's gone. I guess another less graphic way to say it is to just forgive whatever caused the pain, whether it be something stupid you did to someone else or yourself or something hearless that someone did to you that you hold onto the responsibility for, this is how I clear the decks daily.

You being a Catholic [of sorts} I will take you to that text where in one place or another it says if you bring your gift to the alter and have aught against your brother first go make peace with your brother then bring your gift.

Is love enough? No absolutely not for first there must be peace, for from peace all good things grow. Love has turned into a word over used in songs and spoken word that Madison avenue has shoved up our ass like that pinwheel in a hurricane, the meaning of it changes so fast all we see is a blur of color that we think is love.

Love is different for everyone same as honestly held beliefs. That is the beauty of love.

My life is un-manageable but then i don't have to manage it I just have to be it's union steward and know what the contract says, "to him that knoweth to do right and doeth it not then to him it is sin"
Be at peace.

Sincerely

The Walking Man

You need to quit taking pictures of yourself in the kitchen...we all know someone else baked those whatever you're holding and where the fuck is the espresso machine? As a matter of fact whose house is that really it is definately too neat and tidy to be yours. And whose lending you all of those non black clothes?

peace

JR's Thumbprints said...

Hmmm, I'm thinking about "Woman In A Jar." For some reason, it doesn't have a nice ring to it, as if she's being abducted.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving.