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Thai Addictions
an emily blunt rant



 

Perhaps I should start at the beginning (<- insert a visual of one of those Brady Bunch/Gilligan's Island dream sequence spin-edits here for your mental pleasure…).

I was a kick boxing chickbabe when I first moved to Hollywood. But, alas, a bad car accident has found me with chronic pain and perpetually whining about the ten step walk-up I dwell in.

As I'm not really into pain killers. I needed to find something.

So, this chronic pain drove me to physical therapy. The lack of insurance, and the subsequent mega tab on a certificate-carrying therapist with fancy initials stitched on her pressed white scrubs, drove me downtown - literally - to a Thai massage parlor.

Turned on once by a friend - I now sneak down to a sullen, gray, part of town - alone - and weekly. You could say it's the bowels of Los Angeles. I prefer to say the place has a touch of cityscape tinged character - like a concrete and metal Travis Bickle, but less the murderous insanity gene. I do lower the music as I approach the avenue's dimly-lit exit. And, admittedly, the barometer seems to rise a bit.

I see my reflection in the rearview mirror - it is that of an addict.

My supplier's nest lay on a lonely street where the sky seems to end in murky goo. It sits on a slice of gutter Philip Marlowe would describe with fancy superlatives to give it a sexy noir accent. The only sound comes from distant car horns screaming in contempt, and a fury of swirling discarded soda cans, oddly like some kind of urban tumbleweeds, crackling in rhythm against the old cement faced stores where I park.

I always find a fine spot right in front of the parlor - no one comes down here anymore.

The place does say, "Massage" - half lit - on the marquee. But get dancing nymphs and the soft porno music right out of your head. There's nothing sexy or underhanded about this place - and the girls don't take any nonsense. If any of them were actually legally here you'd be paying triple for their expert ancient Thai massage techniques handed down by 'Chandu the Great' or someone…instead it's thirty bucks for an hour - with peppermint oil.

The waiting area hosts a grubby wounded little couch that puckers up on the left side where people seem to prefer to sit - out of the view of the quickly moving neighborhood passer bys - I assume. Underfoot there's a telltale dirty red industrial carpet that has that nauseating imbedded chemical smell from too many attempts at cleaning a cheap rug. And the wall-art consists of a Thai import company's product calendar - which is two years out of date and slightly tilted left. It's a no-frills kinda joint.

I thought of all I do to bring me here - secretly.

To fuel my addiction I've had to cancel cable, shop at the Dollar Store, and say farewell to the weekly sushi and sake soirees with friends. Oh, it is bad. I even started sneaking in the cheap gas into my faithful VW beetle Dudley, who I am sure knows of the switch and disapproves - as he now seems to be retaliating by hissing and cajunking through the Canyon roads.

Why all this self sacrifice? Oh dear reader, it is all so I can visit my den of hedonism and see the woman they call Ms. Moi, my Thai masseuse, and my addiction.

I thought to myself recently while being greeted by Ms. Moi, "Is it wrong for a hetro-sexual gal to feel "something" when the small Thai women crawls up her body? Or is it an explainable infatuation due to the euphoria I experience post-massage?" Hmm.

And know now Thai Massage is not for the wimpy. Know also I am a card-carrying member of the U.S. Wimp Club which makes this particular addiction all the stranger. Ms. Moi is patient with me. Hey, for the uninitiated Thai massage is like experiencing deep tissue massage by an aggressive Ukrainian wrestler that's having a bad day. The goal is to scare the muscles into lethargy I think.

I'm hooked. I lay in my cheesy fabric draped cubicle at Ms. Moi's mercy - not unlike a netted Tuna. I'm wearing nothing but an anti-flattering ensemble of really weird looking pajama-like pant bottoms that tie just below the boob area and a tube-top-like hair net - both in a sickly blue hue. I suppose an ounce of humiliation makes the soul a bit stronger? That having been said, I've learned how to "go to my happy place," where it's not Ms. Moi crawling up my body, viciously probing the nooks and crannies where the pain hides, no, it's a manly man, like say Benicio del Toro (of course with a dye job, as his Count Chocula©™ hair-do is so very unattractive), kneading my aching limbs while any number of musical memories are conjured up from my mind's catalog, all in an attempt to prevent permenant damage to my delicate pysche.

Sure my friends are talking - whispering. They are fearful I've gotten in with a strange crowd…err…a stranger crowd and could be heading towards financial destruction. But so long as I have this new spring in my step and something to pawn off on Ebay, to keep me in this lifestyle I have grown accustom to, I'm not worried about silly things like rent and food. Bah.

Though, it was a little weird last week at the close of our session when Ms. Moi quietly drew the curtain and said softly in broken English, 'When I slow can call you to come for massage?" Oh dear. She knows I'm an addict…she-devil with the healing hands!

Naturally, I scribbled her my cell number, pulled my baseball cap low, and slipped out to the street, hoping Dudley still had all his tires…

 



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