By: Jenni Taylor
It was my first week in Shanghai, and a friend of mine thought the best way to be inducted into Chinese culture would be through a full body oil massage at the Dragonfly Spa. I said hell yes, of course. There’s a first time for everything.
We put on comfy robes and the scratchy paper underwear. I laid down on the bed and tried to fit my head in the weird head hole. Not made for my tiny head of course, but it would do. There was a little plate with sand and flowers underneath, as something pretty to look at instead of the black soled shoes of the masseuse. Instrumental music played in the background, peaceful and calm and Enya-like.
Scoff all you want, but halfway through the massage I was already planning how to carry the masseuse off with me to the Bahamas to live happily ever after. What I experienced in that cozy upstairs room in the middle of Shanghai was something called safe touch. Safe touch is amazingly hard to find in this world. I thought safe touch had become extinct, and all that was left was the bad messy hurtful kind. But there they were, strong hands making me feel safe, oh so very safe and beautiful and worthy of- good touch. All the bad touch faded away, and I felt like Dorothy getting ready to see the Wizard, with all the primping and trimming and stuffing and shining after a long hard trip through Oz. I felt like I was being put back together again, that my body was beautiful, that maybe touch could make you whole after all instead of taking bits and pieces of yourself away.
I don’t know what heaven is like, or what it really means. Whatever it is, it won’t be disembodied spirits floating around with harps, that’s for sure. There will be touch. The beautiful kind. Shy. Sloppy. Passionate. Strong. Loving. Playful. Comforting. Warm. Healing. Maybe we’ll all get our own personal masseuse, too.